It’s a pretty easy thing to panic when your heating system starts acting strangely. You may be tempted to immediately call for an HVAC technician for something as simple as an odd noise coming from your heating unit. Honestly, that’s never a bad response if you’re not sure what’s going on with your heating system. Better safe than sorry, after all. Before you pick up that phone, though, here are a few things you should do first.
Check the Thermostat
The thermostat is the equivalent of the central nervous system for your heater. It is responsible for turning your heater on, determining how long it should stay on, etc. etc. This makes a malfunctioning thermostat one of the more damaging problems that a heater can face. If the thermostat isn’t working properly, chances are the rest of the system won’t work, either.
Check the display on your thermostat before you do anything else. Is the information on the screen correct? If the thermostat is set to “heat” or “fan” and the temperature is correct, your thermostat is probably fine. You’ll need a professional to confirm that, of course, but at least you’ve eliminated the possibility of a setting being wrong.
Check the Pilot Light
If you have a gas burning heater, especially an older one, you very likely have a standing pilot light as an ignition mechanism. The standing pilot light is an ever-burning flame located underneath your heating unit. It is usually open to the elements, and thus often blows out. If you know that you have a standing pilot light, check and see if it’s still light. If not, that’s likely the source of your problem. Without the pilot light, your furnace won’t be able to start.
If you try to restart the pilot light and it’s not staying lit, then you likely have a problem with your thermocouple. The thermocouple is the sensor that keeps the pilot light lit after initial ignition. Call a professional, just to be sure.
If you’re experiencing problems with your heating system, call AZ Air Conditioning and Heating to schedule professional heating service in the Los Angeles area.