When your heater fails in the middle of winter, you can expect to either have to wait for a residential heater repair company to fit you into their schedule or pay a high premium for an emergency service call. Luckily, in many cases, there are a few ways to avoid the situation entirely. Here are a few ways to keep your heating system running when you need it the most.
Sign a Maintenance Service Contract
Signing a maintenance contract with a reputable HVAC company is often the first step to keeping everything working the way it is supposed to work. These contracts include regular service calls to make sure there is nothing going wrong with the system. The technician looks over everything and informs you of any problems that may be about to occur. They will take care of the problem before it even happens.
An added bonus to having the system serviced, checked, and repaired on schedule, is that contract offers discounts on both labor and parts. You won't have to pay as much when they work on your system. In addition, you could be put at the head of the list if you call for an unscheduled appointment with no extra cost for after-hours visits.
Pay Attention to Your Heating Bill
Most of the time, when there is a problem, it takes a while for a heating system to go from working fine to not working at all. During this time, the system will start to work harder to keep up with the demand for heating your home. As it works harder, it will require more electricity, gas, or oil to keep up. This means you will be paying more for heating your home than you should. While it is true that a heater has to work harder as temperatures drop, the increase in fuel should be appropriate with the temperature. You can also check a previous year's bill to see how fuel consumption and cost compare to what you are paying. If you notice your bill is higher than it should be for the weather, contact a residential heater repair technician. They will come to your home and take care of the issue before the system quits and your home is cold.
Watch and Listen to the Heater
As noted above, it is very rare for a furnace to just quit working without any warning. It may take some time to notice the heating cost has risen and check bills. However, you don't have to wait for a bill to realize there is a problem. Here are a few things you should pay attention to:
- The need to keep increasing the temperature set on the thermostat — The thermostat works to turn the furnace on once the air in the area dips below the temperature you have set as a minimum. Once the area reaches that temperature again, the system shuts off. If you need to keep upping the temperature setting, something is not working correctly.
- The pilot light is not blue — The color of the pilot light for a furnace can indicate when there is a problem. If the light is not blue, contact a service company and ask them to check things out. In many cases, the problem involves some type of contamination in the furnace that needs to be cleaned.
Proper care and maintenance of your heating system is the best way to ensure it will work properly and efficiently. Getting repairs or services as soon as you notice a problem is the best way to save money. Find a service company you are comfortable with and use them for your HVAC needs. They will become familiar with the system and be better prepared to foresee a problem.