Having your heating system break down in the middle of a cold winter night can make life a bit miserable. Not only will everyone be cold in the morning, but you could also end up with a bill you hadn't counted on and really can't afford at the moment. Luckily, there are a few ways to save some money on heating repairs so you can keep the house at a comfortable temperature and not break the bank. Consider the following tips the next time you wake up and the house is almost as cold as it is outside.
Check Power, Fuel, and Pilot
You would be surprised at the number of times an HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) technician is sent for an emergency repair trip to get there and find out that there is no fuel for the heater. They also find that the breaker was switched off or something is unplugged. In addition, if the heater has a pilot light, make sure that it is lit. Regardless of the issue, if a technician goes to your house, you are going to pay for the trip even if the problem was no fuel. If you call and ask for them to come on the weekend, after hours, or that same day, you are going to pay extra.
Don't Ask for an Emergency Trip
While things might be a bit uncomfortable for a day or so, try to avoid requesting an emergency trip. Everyone can wear extra clothes or wrap up in a blanket to keep warm. It is also possible to keep the kitchen warm by using the oven. have everyone spend the evening in the kitchen until it's time to climb into bed with extra blankets. Turn it into a family night with games and hot cocoa.
Clean the Filters and Heater Vents
Sometimes the problem is due to a lack of airflow into the heater. This can happen if the return air vent filter is clogged or if the vents on the outside of the furnace are full of dirt and dust. Turn off the system and clean everything. Once all the dust and debris is gone, turn the heater back on and see if it works.
Having regular servicing when the heater is working properly is important to keeping the system in good repair and working. Of course, if you neglected routine maintenance, it is too late once the unit quits working. If you really want to save money on heating repairs, be sure to have the system serviced at least once a year. The small service fee will be much less than a large repair bill.
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