Updated August 2023
While you likely don’t want to think about it, it’s possible for your heating system to go out in the middle of winter. It’s best to be prepared with how to respond to ensure that your family and home stay safe from the chilling weather.
Check Your Thermostat
When you first notice that your heat is no longer working, it’s best to head over to your thermostat. Take a look at what the settings are to ensure that it’s on the heat function and the set temperature is at least five degrees warmer than the room temperature. If your thermostat isn’t working, it may simply need new batteries.
Check the Breaker and Power Switch
If everything looks good with your thermostat, it’s time to head to your breaker panel. Locate the circuit breaker for your heating system and see if it’s been tripped. If so, turn the breaker to the off position and let it sit for a minute. This will allow the internal components of your heating system to reset properly. Next, turn it back on to see if your heating system kicks back on.
If the circuit breaker is showing that there is power going to your heating system, you want to head over to your heating unit. If you’re like most homeowners, you have a furnace that heats your home during the cold winter months. Many of the newer furnaces will have a power switch physically located on the furnace body. You want to check to see if that power switch has accidentally been flipped to the off position.
See if There’s a Pilot Light
In order for your furnace to operate correctly, it needs to have a pilot light flame. Take a look at the pilot light assembly and see if you still have a solid blue flame going. If there is no flame, it will need to be relit. It’s common for a breeze to come through and blow out the pilot light every now and then.
To relight your pilot light, you want to first turn the knob to the off position. Give it a couple of minutes so that the existing fuel odors can dissipate into the air. Next, switch the knob to the pilot position. Use a grill lighter to light the flame. At the same time, you want to be holding down the reset button at the pilot light assembly. Make sure that you keep the reset button depressed until there is a solid blue flame burning. If the flame is yellow or is flickering, contact an HVAC professional as there may be issues with the furnace.
Check Your Fuel Gauge
If your pilot light doesn’t stay lit, it may be because you’re out of fuel. Take a look at the gauge on your fuel tank to see what the level is. If there’s adequate fuel in your tank, you have another furnace issue that will need to be addressed by a professional.
Use an Alternative Source of Heat
If you’re unable to get your furnace restarted, call in a professional heating company to handle the situation. While you’re waiting for them, you want to work on getting an alternative source of heat going so that your home can stay warm. Some common alternative sources of heat include space heaters and fireplaces.
Useful Tips For Retaining Heat
While you’re waiting for a professional to arrive to assess your heating system, there are some actions that you’re going to want to take to retain as much heat as possible. If it’s still daylight, consider opening all your blinds to let in the direct sunlight to naturally heat up your home.
If you don’t have an alternative source of heat, consider turning your oven on to the self-clean option to provide at least some heat. You want to turn all your ceiling fans on and have them circulating in a clockwise direction. This will move the heat up towards the ceiling and push it towards the walls and back down to the floor again. The basic concept is that it will continue to circulate the warm air in your home throughout the room so that you can continue to stay warm.
Reliable Heating Services
Variable Comfort Solutions provides reliable heating services to the Huntington, WV, community. We’re also available for all of your cooling, mini-split, and indoor air quality needs. Contact us today to get the heating service that you need.