Before Calling a Heating Contractor

Three basic items to check before calling for heating service:

Make sure power to the furnace is on. Usually there is a switch on the side or top of the furnace, hint- try turning the power off for one minute and then turn it back on. Even furnaces have computers that need to be reset for reasons such as power fluctuations or improper ground connections.

Check for proper thermostat setting. If the thermostat is in the heat position and set above room temperature try turning the heat/off/cool switch to off and then back on.

Check the manual gas valve. The manual gas valve is located on the gas pipe coming into the furnace. Make sure the valve handle is parallel with the gas pipe.

Taking a moment to check these items may prevent a service call, however, lest we overlook another basic maintenance item on the furnace checklist, make sure you check the filter. Furnace companies will sometimes view a dirty filter as grounds to charge a customer even more. Although this behavior is not very nice, or perhaps ethical, some technicians will consider a dirty filter as the homeowners lack of interest in saving money. "Heck, if they don't have time to change a filter than they certainly won't mind making it worth my while."
On the positive side, if you follow these steps you may even solicit the opposite response from your heating and cooling company. Just tell them you tried performing these basic steps but found the problem was something more complicated then the checklist you were given. Whenever a customer has shown this type of interest in solving their furnace repair problem I always try to put myself in their shoes. If they took the time to follow these steps chances are they are probably concerned about an expensive repair bill. Believe it or not, customers always score points with me this way. I have attempted a few automobile repairs on my own to try to save money.

Hope this gets you back in operation and saves a few dollars!

Randy Koch