Wait! Before You Call The Heating Company...
Are you a new first-time homeowner? If so, you may never have had to deal with things like furnaces, air conditioners, hot water heaters, and the like. Now you can't just call the landlord when something goes wrong. Knowing when to contact your heating/AC company and when not to can save you time, money, and aggravation, so here are some tips for things you can try first and when you should call in the pros.
Don't wait until you have a malfunction or emergency to start looking for the name of an HVAC repair company or plumber. You can ask the previous owners of your home who they used, as those professionals may be familiar with your house. Enter the numbers, including emergency contact information, into your mobile and keep a list posted on your fridge as well.
Make sure when you take ownership of the home you gather all the owners manuals for your appliances (the previous occupants should leave them behind) and put them in an accessible place. Also, be certain to learn where your fuse box or circuit panel is located, label the circuit breakers if not already identified, and know the location of the main shut-off valves for your water and gas. Make sure any kids left home alone know this information too.
It can be embarrassing and expensive to call your heating company for something you could have easily fixed yourself. If your heat is on the fritz, try these quick fixes first before calling the repair company
- Your furnace should have its own circuit breaker. Make sure the breaker hasn't tripped, and if it has, reset it.
- Sometimes your electrical system can become overloaded in the winter with lamps, holiday lights, entertainment systems, and appliances all running at once. Try reducing the load on your system by shutting off some items to keep the breaker from re-tripping.
- Check your thermostat to make sure the time and programs are set properly. Also, check your thermostat batteries, as their simple failure can cause your furnace to stop running.
- Look at your furnace filter to make sure it isn't full of dust and debris and needs to be changed. Always keep a spare filter on hand.
If your thermostat is fully operational but your circuit breaker keeps tripping, you may have a wiring problem. This could potentially be a fire hazard, so you need to call the repair company right away.
Air Conditioner Issues
Your air conditioner problems can be caused by the same thermostat issues raised above, so be sure to check that your thermostat isn't the source of your air conditioner not running. Likewise, your filter needs to be just as clean in the summer as it does in the winter.
If ice has built up on your air conditioner coils, it can't cool properly. You need to shut it off, let the ice melt, and try it again. If it's still not working after this, it's time to call your HVAC services company.
Equally embarrassing as calling the heating company when your thermostat batteries have expired is calling them when sticks or yard debris are blocking your air conditioner unit fan. Make sure there is nothing impeding the fan movement, and keep leaves, twigs, and other detritus away from your unit by checking it periodically and keeping landscaping a safe distance away.
Owning your first home can be fun and exciting, so don't let appliance woes bog you down. If you can't fix something on your own, call a repair company (such as Allied Air Conditioning & Heating Corp). If it's a minor issue, they'll be happy to show you how to handle it in the future, so you can save your contact with them for big malfunctions and true emergencies.