Troubleshooting Your Home Heating System

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated February 11, 2022)

Troubleshooting your home heating system is something that anyone can do to, and should do, to prepare for the coming of winter. Instead of waiting till the middle of the first big snow storm, take some time to use these simple guidelines to see if your home heating system is up to snuff. Simply work on each of the bulleted items, and by the end of the list you will have covered the major reasons for a malfunctioning heating system

  • Test the thermostat. Does your thermostat work? The easiest way to check this is by simply changing the temperature. Reset the thermostat to a higher setting, and see if your heater kicks in. If it does, great. If it doesn't, then you need to do a little further checking. Be sure that you also check to see if it works in the other direction as well. What this means is that after the heater comes on, and you let it run, turn the thermostat back down. The heater should either immediately stop, or stop within the next couple of minutes.
  • Test your thermostat's thermometer. Every thermostat has a thermometer. The thermometer is what tells your thermostat what temperature your home is at. The easiest way to test if your thermostat's thermometer is working properly is through the use of an old fashioned thermometer and some tape. Tape your thermometer to the wall near your thermostat and wait. After a few minutes the thermometer should read the same temperature as your thermostat. If it doesn't then you need to have someone come and recalibrate it.
  • Check the power source. Make sure that your thermostat is receiving the proper amount of power. If you need to have it plugged in, be sure that this is done so. However, most modern thermostats use a battery. When preparing your home for the winter, be sure that you always replace the batteries. This will ensure that your thermostat has a fresh electrical source, and should last through the winter.
  • Check pilot lights. One of the major reasons for a home heating system to experience problems is through the pilot light being out. Simply taking the time to check and make sure that your pilot light is lit can ensure that you don't call a repairman out for any unnecessary (and expensive) work. On the average, you should check your pilot light once at the beginning of the season, and at least once a month till the end of the season.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

MORE FROM LEE

Refinishing Doors

Instead of completely replacing a door, and spending loads of money that could be better used on a different project, why ...

Discover More

Removing Cigarette Smoke from a Plasma TV

Plasma televisions are becoming increasingly popular as time goes by. As such, it is becoming more and more necessary for ...

Discover More

Simple Ways to Prevent Dust

Perhaps one of the single most annoying and repetitive cleaning chores around is dusting. While there really is no way to ...

Discover More

MAX Power! A powerful lithium-ion drill/driver that delivers 0-to-650 RPM and 115 inches-per-pound of torque in a lightweight, easy-to-use package. An anti-slip soft grip and LED worklight makes this tool a delight to use. Check out Black & Decker 20-Volt Cordless Drill/Driver today!

More Home Improvement Tips

Maintaining a Central Air System

During the hot summer months, a working central air system can literally be a lifesaver. That is why proper maintenance ...

Discover More

Replacing a Thermostat

Although replacing a thermostat is a relatively simple task, it can be quite dangerous since you're dealing with ...

Discover More

Checking for and Eliminating Drafts

An easy way to check to see where a draft is coming from is to stand with a lighted candle next to a window or door. The ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one minus 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)