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Common Central Heating Problems & Solutions

central heating problemsCentral heating problems are bound to arise at some point or another in all houses who have a central heating system. There are many issues that come up that you can deal with yourself without having to call a professional technician or company to your home to handle. Of course, it’s handy to have the number for a technician or company with 24-hour service just in case it’s necessary, but if you’re having a problem with your central heating system, why not try some of these steps first? You might just find a quick and easy solution to your problem without the hassle and cost of a professional.

Central Heating Problems: Is it Cold?

ThermostatIf you find that certain areas of your home are colder than others, your thermostat or thermostats may be to blame. A thermostat should always be placed in the coldest area of the zone of the house it controls so that the coldest part of the zone is kept comfortable. If it’s cold in the home and this is a new situation, check to make sure that all thermostats in the home are on. They could’ve been shut off by an electrical surge. At the very least, they may have been reset to a default temperature, which is usually very low – sometimes as low as sixty degrees. Thermostats should be upgraded over time to newer and more efficient models. Over time, a thermostat can lose its accuracy in determining the temperature and can become more susceptible to electrical surges. Newer thermostats can come with battery backups to prevent a thermostat from shutting off or returning to default temperatures, they can read temperatures more effectively to keep the temps more stable in the home, and they can run on less power.

Central Heating Problems: Is it Still Cold?

central heating problems resolveIf all of the thermostats in the home are turned on properly and it is still cold in the home, the pilot light in the boiler may have gone out. You can check to see if the pilot light is on by looking through a small window built in to the boiler system specifically to check the pilot light. This window may be clear or can be tinted blue or red to reduce the brightness of the light. You should still be able to see the flame, however. Go about re-lighting the pilot light as the instructions for your boiler dictate. Be sure to do this safely. If you have a self-lighting boiler, just reset the unit and allow it to start itself. If the pilot light won’t stay lit, there may be something wrong with the system that will need to be checked by a professional. Be sure to note what the unit is doing, or not doing, so that you can let the technician know when he arrives. Many central heating problems are only noticed when the boiler will not stay running and this is when it’s time to call a professional.

Do You Have Central Heating Problems With Cold Spots?

Heating engineer repairman in boiler roomIf one area of your home, particularly a zone that is farthest away from the boiler, is not getting heat at all, then it may be a sign that your boiler’s pump needs to be flushed or replaced. Another sign of a pump needing service is one area of the home being cold only until the heat shuts off in another part of the home, meaning that only one zone in the home can be heated at a time due to the limited capacity of the pump. This is something that will need to be handled by a boiler technician that is certified to work on the type of boiler you have in your home.

Central Heating Problems: Do You Hear Loud Banging Sounds?

Piping and valvingLoud banging sounds coming from the furnace or boiler can be a sign of air in the system. To rid the system of this air, it’s important to bleed the radiators. Ideally, this should be done every year, just before winter, because air can build up in the system and result in these loud noises. Bleeding the radiators is something a confident do-it-yourselfer can do on his or her own, or you could have it added to the yearly maintenance you have done on your boiler since the technician is already there.

Do You Have Central Heating Problems of No Power to The Boiler?

Water pumpsIf you don’t have any power to the boiler, the first place to check is the fuse. This is usually located on the boiler itself. If the fuse is still good or you’ve replaced it and there’s still no power, the next place to check is the breaker. An electrical surge may have tripped the breaker, resulting in no power flow to the unit. If the breaker is sending power to the boiler and the boiler is still not running, then it’s best to contact a boiler repair technician who can diagnose the electrical problem with the unit. They will be the best person to look at the problem as they can look at any electrical issues as well as boiler issues that may be present.

As you can see, many central heating problems can be fixed, or at least checked, right from home with no or few tools. Only once you’ve ruled out minor problems should you call a boiler repair technician to come to home to check for more serious central heating problems that may be occurring with your boiler and other system parts. It’s important to have a repair person or company that you work with regularly so they know your home and your system well in case they need to come out for an emergency. There will be less work involved for them and they will be able to do the work in less time. This means fewer headaches for both you and them. Keep their number handy in case of emergencies and in the event that you aren’t home when an emergency happens and someone needs to call for you, like a spouse, housesitter, babysitter, or other adult who may be at the home.

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