My unit won’t run. What can I do myself?
Is your system not working properly? Here are a few things that you can check before calling for service.
1. Make sure that your air filter is clean. Also check to see if your registers or grilles are blocked. This can cause insufficient airflow and make the unit shut off on safety.
2. Check the settings on your thermostat. If you want heat, make sure that the thermostat is set to heat, and the temperature is set higher than the current room temperature. If you want cooling, make sure the thermostat is set to cool and the temperature is below the current room temperature. Also check to see if the fan selector is in the on or auto position.
3. Check your breakers in the panel. Make sure that they have not tripped; most new breakers have a trip indicator. It does not hurt to turn it off and then back on to rule this out. Make sure the electric is turned off to your unit before checking fuses in an outside disconnect. Check your fuses for any obvious marks. On newer fuses you may not be able to tell they are bad by sight. You can try replacing them with fuses of the same type and size.
4. Did someone accidentally bump the emergency switch off? This switch is normally located at the top of the basement stairs, or by the unit. It should have a red switch plate labeled gas burner or oil burner.
5. Have you recently changed your filter? Make sure you have the furnace door firmly in place or the door safety switch will keep the unit from running.
6. Check your oil or gas tank. Make sure that you have not run out of fuel.
7. Try turning the unit off at the thermostat, it may have been a control that needed to be reset.
Do I need to have preventative maintenance on my unit?
Yes. Your heater and air conditioner are just like your car. Sure it will run if you just add gas, but sooner or later if not maintained it will fail. By doing routine maintenance on your equipment it will keep your unit running as efficiently as possible. It also allows a technician to check the safeties to make sure they are operating. Remember that all manufacturers require maintenance to be done in order to honor warranty coverage.
Air Conditioners & Heat Pumps:
Before the air conditioning season you should have your dealer check the following on your air conditioner or heat pump:
• Operating pressures
• Refrigerant Charge
• Compressor – amperage draws
• Fan motor – amperage draws and voltage
• Belts – some newer units are direct drive
• Crankcase heater
• Coils – for excess dirt and debris
• Lubrication of moving parts
• Tighten all wiring connections
• Condensate pan, drain line and pump
More information: Air Conditioners & Heat Pumps
Furnaces: Gas, Oil and Electric
Before the heating season you should have your dealer check the following on your furnace:
• Burners and pilot assemblies
• Burner adjustments
• Cracks in the heat exchanger
• Check the thermocouple
• Vent piping for cracks and obstructions
• Electronic ignition
• Measure manifold gas pressure
• Measure temperature rise
• Set the heat anticipator
• Check and adjust belt tension
• Examine the draft inducer
• Lubricate the fan motor as appropriate
• Change oil filter, nozzle and strainer ( oil only )
• Set electrodes and air band ( oil only )
• Tighten all wiring connections
• Check safeties
• Check Electric Heat package
More information: Furnaces
• Replace your media pad or water panel at the beginning of each season.
• Clean out the reservoir with a mixture of vinegar and water to remove old scaling and residue.
• At the end of each season make sure to turn the water off to your humidifier, empty the old water out ( in resevior type ) and unplug the unit for the summer.
More information: Humidifiers
Electronic & Media Air Filters:
• Typically Media filters need to be replace once a year. Exceptions would be an excessively dusty enviroment due to a home remodel or new construction of your home or in your development.
• Electronic Air Cleaners
• Prefilters in electronic styles could be gently washed with water and a gentle cleaner and allowed to dry before replacing them in the unit.
• Cells should also be washed with a gentle cleaner and allowed to dry thoroughly before replacing in system. Care should be taken not to break the fine ionizer wires, you should also be careful not bend the fins in the cell. This can cause arching and keep you unit from operating properly.
More information: Air Filters