Top Reasons Why Your Heater Won’t Turn On

heating services philadelphiaWe’ve been doing a lot of plumbing-related posts lately but at Drainworks Plumbing and Heating we want you to know that we can also help you solve problems with your heating system. With this brutally cold Philadelphia winter, you’ll want to have your heat up and running, not just for your comfort, but for you safety as well. If your heat isn’t coming on, here are a few things to check on before you make a service call:

Are the Thermostat Settings Correct?

Always start with the most obvious thing first: is your thermostat set correctly? If not, you heat may not come on at all, or it may not continuously heat your home. First, check if the temperature setting is higher than the ambient temperature. If not, your heater won’t know it needs to start working. Also, be sure it’s set to “heat,” and that the fan mode is set to “on.” There may be other thermostat settings you need to adjust as well, so be sure to check your owner’s manual before you pick up that phone.

Do You Have Power?

Even if you have a gas or oil heater, it still needs electric power to run. Obviously, if there’s a widespread power outage, you probably won’t have heat until it’s resolved, so check to see if your neighbors have power, then take a look at your circuit breaker. If the breaker for your heating system is tripped, reset it and the heat should come back on immediately.

Is the Pilot Light On?

Gas and oil heaters usually have a pilot light that allows the burner to catch fire when the heat comes on. If the pilot light isn’t on, you won’t have any heat. Check your owner’s manual for the proper lighting procedure (this information is also often printed inside the maintenance door of your heater). For newer systems, you may find an electric igniter instead of a pilot light, so it’ possible this unit is malfunctioning and needs to be replaced.

Is the Gas Supply On?

If you go to check on your heater and you smell gas, it could mean there’s a leak, so leave your home right away and contact your gas company to notify them. In this case, a gas leak may be the reason why your heater isn’t running, and that’s a very dangerous situation. If you don’t smell gas, it’s possible your gas service has been shut off for maintenance or other reasons. Either way, a call to your gas company should clear things up.

There are many reasons why your heat doesn’t come on in the winter; in most cases it’s something simple like the situations listed above. If it’s something more serious, don’t hesitate to call Drainworks Plumbing and Heating so we can get to the bottom of it. In the winter, not having heat is an emergency situation, which is why we offer emergency plumbing and heating service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (yes, that includes evenings, weekends, and holidays). We’re even certified to repair gas lines!