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Why isn’t my heat working? Heating problems answered

Prepare for cooler weather with answers to the most common heating system questions

Fall is finally here. A time for pumpkin spice everything, festivals and crisp days and cool nights. Fall is also the first time most of us turn our heat on. What should you do if it doesn’t work? We’ve got troubleshooting tips for this and more common heating questions. Mom and son keeping warm under a blanket near a furnace

Shutterstock Photo By Lens Candy

Why isn’t my heat working?

ANSWER: The circuit breaker might have been tripped. Try resetting it.

ANSWER: Your thermostat may not be calibrated properly or set too low. Make sure your thermostat is set to heat. Try setting the temperature 2 to 4 degrees above room temperature.

ANSWER: Clean or replace your filters. Whether you have a gas or oil furnace or a heat pump, filters need to be routinely cleaned or replaced. You can use the owner’s manual to find where the air and oil filters are located in your unit.

ANSWER: The pilot light may be out or the gas turned off. If you have a gas furnace, make sure the gas line is switched on. If the main gas line is turned off, you’ll need to have your local gas company check. If you have an older gas furnace (before 1990), one of the first things to check is your pilot light. Your owner’s manual will feature detailed instructions on re-lighting the pilot. Contact your local Trane Comfort Specialist™ if you’re unsure. 

Why is it hot upstairs and cold downstairs?

ANSWER: Heat is escaping. Create climate zones to heat the rooms you want. The DIY way to do this is to close a few (not all) vents on the second floor. This forces your heating system to direct more air downstairs. Take this concept to the next level by having an HVAC professional install a climate zone system, like the Trane ComfortLink™ II Zoning System. In this system, heated or cooled air is directed where it’s needed most.

ANSWER: Your insulation and weather strips need to be replaced. As you know, heat rises and cold air collects on the ground level. So any cold air that enters through drafty doors and windows is going to be felt most downstairs. It’s a simple fix that can make a noticeable difference.

Why is the air flow so low?

ANSWER: Clean or replace your filters. Over time, dust and dirt will accumulate on the filter screen. There could also be a blockage in your air ducts. If this is the case, you’ll need your local Trane Comfort Specialist™ to inspect the ductwork.

Why is my utility bill so high?

ANSWER: Your system is running too much. If you have your thermostat set to a temperature drastically warmer than the outside temperature, your system has to work harder to maintain the temperature. This can result in a higher-than-normal utility bill. Try adjusting your thermostat to a more moderate temperature.

ANSWER: Your rates may have been raised. Your utility company might have raised their rates. Contact your utility company and compare the rates on your current bill with those from previous months.

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