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How To Troubleshoot Your Heating System

Is there a simple fix for your heater?

heating repair massachusettsIf your heat won’t turn on or blow warm air, you may need to call a professional for service, but first, check out Needham Oil Complete Heating & Cooling troubleshooting guide for solutions you can try at home. We are pleased to provide ways in which you can save time and money by taking your own measures to ensure that your systems are working properly.

Know your equipment

You don’t need to be a heating expert to flip a switch on your circuit breaker or check your fuel gauge. However, different styles of heating systems may have varying troubleshooting steps. You’ll need to know whether you use heating oil, or have a gas-powered system, as well as whether your heater is a furnace or boiler. If you have a boiler, it can help to know if it’s a steam boiler, or one powered by hot water.

Troubleshooting 101

  • Check your thermostat: Is the thermostat set to at least 5 degrees higher than your current room temperature? Some thermostats also need to be set to “heat,” instead of “auto.”
  • Make sure your heating system is on: Is the system’s power switch set to the ON position?
  • Is your tank running low? Both heating oil tanks and propane tanks need to be at least 1/8th full to work properly.
  • Make sure all the circuit breakers are on: It is common for a breaker to trip. The circuit breaker box looks like a metal wall cabinet. It’s usually located in the basement or a utility room.

Check those fuel gauges

  • If you have an above-ground tank, an attached gauge will show you the level, like a fuel gauge in a car.
  • If you have an underground tank, remove the fill cap and insert a long stick into the tank until you reach the bottom. Take the stick out and see if there is any oil on it.
  • A propane gauge will also show you the level of propane in your tank, but obviously you shouldn’t try to see the propane for yourself (you can’t!).
  • If you have a steam boiler, check the water level in the gauge glass.

If you have a furnace, ensure the air filter is clean

An air filter clogged with debris will cause the system to overheat and shut down.

  1. Shut off the system’s power. It’s important to do this before you proceed.
  2. Find the air filter. A filter is usually somewhere along the system’s return air duct. It may be in a wall or ceiling, or in the furnace.
  3. Remove the air filter. Many of the new filters slide in and out so it is easy to remove them and put them back.

Try resetting your system, carefully

Much like a computer or smartphone, sometimes your heating system may need a reboot if you can’t get it going as it should. Try this: Press and hold the RESET button on the burner for 3 seconds. Did the heat come on?

If your system does not start after you push the reset button, DO NOT PUSH IT AGAIN. Pushing this button more than once can cause your heating system to “Flood.” Too much oil will get pumped into the combustion chamber, resulting in a lengthy and costly repair.

Call in the experts at Needham Oil Complete Heating & Cooling

If the troubleshooting steps above don’t get your heater going again, it’s time to call in the professionals who can get you COMPLETELY squared away. Residents of Middlesex and Norfolk Counties have long trusted Needham Oil Complete Heating & Cooling as a bona fide expert with heating and cooling systems. We are happy to offer our residential customers professional installation, maintenance and repair services that just can’t be beaten.

If you have questions, please contact us at your earliest convenience! If you feel this is an emergency and need to bring in an expert, please call us —don’t email.