• NY845-351-4700
  • NJ973-827-8179
  • PA570-618-8055

How to Troubleshoot Your Gas Heater

Heat is necessary for comfort and survival during the cold days of the winter. Without our heaters, we would all be huddled around fires to stay warm. Heaters need regular tune-ups and repairs to stay functioning throughout the cold weather. Properly maintaining your gas heater ensures that it runs strongly and efficiently.

However, even with proper maintenance, sometimes heaters break down and stop functioning. If you are experiencing issues with your gas heater and want to check it out before calling an HVAC company, go over these troubleshooting tips first, before calling in the professionals.

If you are uncomfortable troubleshooting your gas heater, not to worry! Our HVAC specialists at SOS Xtreme Comfort are able to assist you through the entire process. Just contact us online or give us a call: NJ (973-827-8179), PA (570-618-8055), NY (845-351-4700).

Troubleshooting Your Gas Heater

Check Gas Heater Filter

The first thing you want to check is the air filter. Over time, heater filters get dirty. Dirt and dust can quickly clog the filter, impeding the airflow, worsening indoor air quality, and preventing the gas heater from turning on in some cases. It can also become a fire hazard and cause premature breakdowns due to excessive dust and dirt.

  • Turn your thermostat off and flip the gas heater switch off before you conduct any work on the furnace.
  • Check your air filter every 30 days.
  • Hold your filter up to a light source — if light cannot pass through easily, it should be cleaned or replaced.
  • When installing your new filter, remember that the arrows should point in the direction of the airflow.
  • Make sure you properly secure the access panel.

Check the Thermostat

After verifying that your gas heater filter is clean and installed properly, check the thermostat.

  • Make sure it is set to “heat” and try setting the temperature at least 5 degrees higher than the current room temperature.
  • If the thermostat needs new batteries, replace them.
  • For electromechanical thermostats, you may need to open it up and give it a gentle dusting. Use a soft paintbrush or something similar to lightly brush off dirt and dust, including around the metal coils and contact plates.
  • Check the location of your thermostat and make sure it isn’t receiving any false readings from sunlight, lamps, ovens, space heaters, or any other heat source. If the thermostat is receiving the wrong input, it will send out the wrong output.

Check Gas Heater Switch & Electrical Panel

If the filter and thermostat are fine, it could be a power problem.

  • Check the heater switch located near the gas heater. Someone may have accidentally turned it off. Try flipping it back on. If that doesn’t work, head to the electrical panel.
  • Make sure power is turned on at the breaker box or fuse box.
  • If your breaker box is properly labeled, make sure the HVAC breaker is on. Even if you don’t have any labels, look for the breaker switch that is in the opposite direction of the rest. That is the breaker you want to switch back on with the rest.
  • To reset your breaker, flip the switch all the way off before flipping it back on again. You should hear a click.
  • To restore power to a fuse box, look for a melted and discolored fuse. Unscrew the fuse and replace it with the exact same size and type of fuse. The best way to find fuse replacements is to go to the store with a current fuse and replace it with an identical one.
  • Turn your furnace switch on and see if this restored power to your furnace. If the power is still out or the breaker continues to trip, contact a professional.

Warning: Make sure your hands and feet are completely dry before attempting to reset power. If there are any signs of electrical damage or moisture, or you don’t feel comfortable, don’t touch anything and contact a qualified electrician right away.

The HVAC specialists at SOS Xtreme Comfort are able to help you troubleshoot, tune-up, and repair your gas heater. Contact us online or give us a call: NJ (973-827-8179), PA (570-618-8055), NY (845-351-4700).

Check Gas Heater Flame

Your heater flame should be a healthy blue color—it may have a small yellowish tip. The blue flame indicates that your gas furnace is burning the fuel safely and efficiently.

If the flame is any other color than blue, contact a professional right away. Never attempt to fix your heater flame color on your own.

Pilot Light & Gas Valve

If you go to check the heater flame and it is out, you will need to relight it. While you can relight the pilot on your own, be extra careful and consult your owner’s manual for proper instructions.

Don’t forget to turn off the gas for around 10-15 minutes before attempting to relight the pilot. If you continue to smell any gas, do not continue! You may have a leak, in which case, you should evacuate the household immediately and call your gas company and the fire department at a safe distance.

If you are uncomfortable checking or relighting your pilot light, don’t hesitate to call your trusted HVAC company, SOS Xtreme Comfort. Contact us online or give us a call: NJ (973-827-8179), PA (570-618-8055), NY (845-351-4700).

Properly Secure Front Panel

Follow your manufacturer’s instructions for properly securing the access panel. Many furnaces will not operate if the panel is not pressed in all the way.

Ensure All Vents and Registers Are Open and Unblocked

Sometimes, your gas heater is running but your rooms aren’t getting the proper heat or airflow. Inspect your entire home for all the supply and return grills. They should all be fully opened and unobstructed.

Make sure there are no rugs, furniture, or anything else restricting the flow of air. Not only will blocked vents and registers affect your comfort, they can also lead to duct leaks due to excessive air pressure and premature HVAC repairs and breakdowns.

Call SOS Xtreme Comfort for Gas Heater Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting your gas heater can be a difficult process, and if steps are not followed correctly, it can be dangerous. If you would rather let the professionals handle your gas heater, contact SOS Xtreme Comfort today!

For more information or help on troubleshooting your gas heater, contact us online or give us a call: NJ (973-827-8179), PA (570-618-8055), NY (845-351-4700).

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