Having an A/C or Heating Emergency? 4 Steps to Take Right Away
Winters seem to be getting colder while summers are getting hotter with each passing year. With those extremes in temperature, it’s important that we keep our homes’ heating and cooling systems in top shape to ensure comfort. However, sometimes these systems break down no matter how much we try. When this happens, we may not know what to do. In this article, we’ll go over four steps you need to take as soon as possible when an A/C or heating emergency happens in your home.
1. Check the Thermostat
This may seem like a no-brainer but you’ll be surprised to find out that the thermostat can often be the source of the problem. Modern thermostats have many different modes and settings, which can be complicated to operate. You may have sworn you turned the A/C on, when in reality you turned on the heater.
When there’s an A/C emergency and your heater just stops working, it’s worth checking if your thermostat is properly set. Make sure that your thermostat is set to the heating function and that the temperature is high enough to activate the furnace.
After setting the right temperature, give it a few minutes for the heat and fan to activate. In some cases, you might just need to replace the battery.
2. Check the Filter
Your A/C or heating emergency may have been caused by excessively dirty or clogged air filters in the furnace. If the air filter is clogged, heat and air can get trapped, making the system less effective in making your home a comfortable temperature. A dirty filter will also make your system work harder to get that warm or cool air out, increasing your electricity bill.
Refer to the user’s manual to learn how to locate and remove the air filter for cleanup or replacement.
3. Check for Popped Circuit Breakers
Most oil and gas-fueled furnaces are powered by electricity to operate. During a system emergency, it’s worth checking the circuit breaker panel for a popped breaker. If you find a popped breaker for your furnace, that’s the reason why you’re having an issue. Simply flick the breaker switch to the “ON” position.
It’s also possible that there is a furnace circuit breaker on the heating/cooling unit itself, so make sure to check there as well. If the breaker on the unit has popped, a reset might be in order.
It’s also worth noting that newer residential HVAC systems have a safety feature that will shut the system down in case of excessive heat or pressure. If you’re not cleaning or replacing your filters and your system has shut down, this may be why.
4. Check the Gas Valve
Just like your thermostat, shutting off the gas valve and forgetting about it is all too common. Trace the gas line from the unit back to the meter. You should see a handle that’s perpendicular to the gas pipe. Turn the handle to the parallel position to turn on your gas. If your home has an older furnace or boiler model, check if it has a pilot light and if it’s actually lit.
How to Deal with an A/C or Heating Emergency
These are just some of the steps that you can take in case of a heating or A/C emergency. Most of these troubleshooting steps can be done on your own. However, if all these steps have failed, it might be time to call a professional to handle your A/C or heating emergency.
A qualified professional will not only deal with your A/C or heating emergency, but they can also install an economical heating system to upgrade your current one.