What is wrong with my central heating system?

HVAC units outside

What do I do if my heat isn’t working?  

In Southern California, central heating repair may not be as rare as the rest of the country thinks. Yes, even in Southern California, our homes and business need heat, maybe not as much as other states, but when isn’t working, we are on the phone with our central heating repair contractor.

It is never good when the temperature drops, and your central heating is not working! It never fails either that always seems to happen at night, on a holiday or weekend, when a service call is going to cost you three times as much. Before you make that call for central heating repair service, follow these steps and see if you can it working first: 

  1. Make sure the thermostat is on and set on heat.
  2. If your thermostat is programmable, check the schedule is for the right day/time.
  3. If the thermostat is battery-powered, change the batteries.
  4. Check the circuit breaker.
  5. Check the power switch is on inside or near the central heating unit. If it is off, turn it on and see if starts. 
  6. Push the reset button near the central heating unit motor. If no response, wait thirty minutes and push it again. 
  7. Turn the furnace power off at the main panel and check the fuse. If it is blown, replace it, turn the furnace back on. 

How do you diagnose central heating problems?     

When your central heating system isn’t working , it is too easy to panic and pick up the phone to call for central heating repair service. Whether your central heating is gas or electric, before you make that phone call,  try these trouble shooting tips first. Even if you can’t determine the problem, the central heating repair service company may be able to give you some advice to try before scheduling an appointment. 

  • The Power: Make sure you central heating system has power by checking the reset button. Then check the circuit breaker and make sure it hasn’t flipped. If there has been a power outage or power surge, it can turn an electric central heating system off. 
  • The Thermostat: Many central heating repair service calls are as simple as the thermostat is turned off, at the wrong setting, or the batteries need replacing. Save yourself a service call fee and troubleshoot the thermostat first by setting the temperature three to five degrees higher and see if the system turns on and is blowing heated air. If that doesn’t get your central heating repaired, go to the next step.
  • Circuit Breakers and Fuses: Make sure the circuit breaker in the electric panel is on.. If your electric panel has fuses, make sure the furnace fuse is good and replace it if needed. 
  • Dirty Furnace: If your electrical furnace is dirty, it hasn’t been working as efficiently as it should and that could be why it isn’t working now. Change or clean the filter and while the filter is out,  inside the panel where the filter is located, vacuum the excess dust off the components. Be sure to turn the furnace off before vacuuming. 
  • The Fan: The heater may be working, but the blower motor or fan may not be working right and distributing the warm air through the house. Check that the fan switch is on or in auto position at the thermostat and if the fan doesn’t turn on, you need call for central heating repair service. If your central heating is noisy lately, it could be the motor or the belt, which will need to be replaced by a qualified service technician. 
  • Still Not Heating: Once you have tried all the things listed here, you still aren’t getting heat, then try resetting your central heat unit. If still no heat, then you need professional central heating repair service. 

How do I reset my central heating system?

Locate which circuit breaker is for the HVAC system and flip it to off. Now wait thirty seconds off then flip to back on and check the thermostat setting is in the heat mode with proper temperature setting. Many times, a central heating repair service technician will follow these same steps when they are checking a system.

How do I know if my central heating thermostat is broken?

If you have a bad thermostat, it isn’t doing an efficient job even if it is still working, and that is costing you money each month!  If your thermostat is experiencing and of these problems, replace the thermostat or have a central heating repair company replace it for you: 

  • HVAC Doesn’t Turn On: This is the most obvious indication of a bad thermostat. If you can’t turn on the cooling or heating at the thermostat, it needs to be replaced.  
  • Thermostat Not Responding: When you change the temperature setting on your thermostat and it doesn’t respond right away and you hear clicking before the air or heat start, the thermostat needs to be replaced.  
  • Short Cycling HVAC: A short-cycling HVAC system is not being efficient or effective because it isn’t completely cooling or heating your home. This is a typical thermostat issue and should be replaced.  
  • Programmed Settings Lost: With a programmable thermostat, the setting should be set for a long time. If they keep disappearing and replacing the battery doesn’t help, it is time to replace the thermostat. 
inside furnace system

What causes central heat to stop working?

 There could be any number of reason why your central heat has stopped working. Here are the most common reasons: 

  • No warm air after setting the thermostat system to the desired setting could be a tripped circuit breaker or an issue with the electrical wiring. Check the breaker if that isn’t the issue, then you’ll need to schedule professional central heating repair service. 
  • Air Isn’t getting to the desired temperature  but it is circulating, there could be leaks in the duct work. You can check this out yourself in the attic or call for air duct service.  
  • The temperature is fluctuating with uneven temperatures, or one room cold while the others are comfortable. This is often an thermostat issue, but it could be air duct issue.  
  • Blocked or dirt air filter will keep the heat or air conditioning from working as efficient as they should in delivering the cool or warm air desired throughout the house.
  • Gas pilot light won’t ignite will keep the central heat from working if you have a gas system. Turn the HVAC system off completely for 5 minutes then turn it back on. If the pilot light doesn’t start up, call for professional central heating service. 

Once a professional has come out and inspected the furnace, they may recommend it is time for a new central heating installation. Don’t feel you need to take what they are offering, call for other estimates and shop for a new system. Remember the lower the price could be the lower the quality and service. However, highest price doesn’t mean you’re getting the best deal either. Call (951) 336-1541 today for your heating system repair in Riverside, CA.