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How to Know When You Need Your Heater Repaired

 |  General Home Care, Heating, Seasonal

Phoenix residents spend most of the year trying to stay cool, but we’re familiar with freezing temperatures, too. If your heater is underperforming, there are a few things you can try before calling a professional Arizona heater repair specialist like Isley’s Home Service.

The following tips can help you decide whether the problem is something you can fix on your own or if it’s time to bring in a professional to perform a thorough duct cleaning, maintenance, or total HVAC replacement.

Heater Repair: DIY vs Pro Problems

heating electrical repairWorking with electrical equipment carries certain risks. Forgetting to turn off the power while working, for example, may result in electrocution. Don’t try to do it yourself unless you are confident in your furnace-fixing abilities. Sometimes, homeowners create new problems by trying to fix existing ones without professional help. However, there are simple things you can check before calling a pro.

  1. If your home is gas powered, make sure your hot water and stovetop work and, if they don’t, check to see whether the pilot light is on. If it isn’t, relight it by pressing the pilot button on the gas valve and holding a lit match over it. You may also call your gas company; they’ll do it for free. If you see evidence of corrosion on the pilot sensor – the straight or L-shaped rod near your main burner – wipe it down with sandpaper.
  2. Do you have a digital thermostat? Replace the batteries and make sure the wires behind it are tightly connected.
  3. If your furnace runs on electricity, check the outlet by plugging in another appliance, such as a cell phone, to see if it works. If there’s no power, check your main power panel, looking for breakers in the “off” position.
  4. Replace the filter. When the filter is clogged, the unit can overheat, causing it to switch to safe mode and only blow cool air.
  5. If your unit dates before 2000, it likely has a central control board. Check it for red or green blinking lights, which indicate the specific problem. If you don’t see blinking lights, your board may be defective.

If you rule out these problems, you probably need a professional opinion. However, if you feel confident serving as your own heater repairman, About.com and HomeTips.com have more detailed articles about repairing your heater.

Signs You Need Emergency Heater Repair

The most obvious sign of a malfunctioning heater is a cold home. You may also notice that some rooms are significantly warmer or cooler than others, or need to constantly adjust the thermostat. If you changed the filters and the unit still blows cold air, it may be time for professional maintenance or even a new unit. Energystar.gov recommends replacing furnaces after 15 years of use.

If you notice a sudden spike in your gas or power bill, that could also signal that your heater is wearing out. Other signs include strange noises, such as rattling, squealing, and popping sounds.

If you have a gas furnace and your pilot light burns yellow instead of blue, it could be producing carbon monoxide gas. While odorless and colorless, this type of gas is deadly. If you suspect you have a carbon monoxide leak, leave your home and contact your gas company immediately.

Other Non-Emergencies and Easy Fixes

Short cycling occurs when your furnace or AC erratically turns on and off. While it can be an easy fix, short cycling may lead to long-term damage and astronomical energy bills if not addressed. Changing the air filter at the start of every season is one way to prevent this issue. Short cycling can also result from a defective thermostat.

If you notice an odor like smoke or burning rubber when your heat kicks on, there may be something lodged in your chimney or air vents. Or, one of your furnace’s electrical components could be broken. Don’t ignore such smells. Call a professional to address the issue before it leads to more expensive repairs. Neglecting simple problems today can leave you with a broken heater mid-season.

Is Your Heater Broken? It’s Time to Call Isley’s

Whether you need mid-season maintenance, a professional duct cleaning, or emergency replacement, Isley’s is the most trusted name for Arizona heater repair. In addition to providing 24/7 emergency service throughout the Valley, we have a TLC HVAC Maintenance Plan that includes two annual tune-ups to prevent mid-season breakdowns. We also offer parts and labor warranties that cover many issues that manufacturer warranties do not. Visit Isley’s heating services webpageTrane heater for information about how we can keep you warm this winter.
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