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Why Is My Heater Not Heating?

In the middle of winter, the last thing you want to do is turn on your heater and discover your house is getting colder instead of warmer. If you turn up your thermostat, the heater may be able to warm the house, but not as efficiently. Your electric bills will continue to rise, even though your house isn’t as warm as it should be.

There are a few reasons why this can happen. Not all of them mean a failing heating system. Before you call an HVAC repair company in Richmond, VA, try these:

  • Check air flow: make sure nothing is blocking it.
  • Thermostat setting: make sure the system is set to “Heat,” and not “On” or “Auto.”
  • Dirty, clogged filter: just like in summer, your HVAC filter needs to be changed out regularly. Dust, dirt, pet hair and other airborne particles eventually get caught and can block the air flow completely. If you’re caught short and don’t have one, use a vacuum cleaner to get some of the dust out and get a fresh filter at your earliest opportunity.
  • Leaking air ducts: your duct work should be completely sealed and insulated, with no holes to compromise air flow. If not, chilly air can seep into your home, making your heating system work that much harder. Properly maintained air ducts will improve the air flow through your home and increase energy efficiency. It will also prevent particles that would normally be caught by the air filter to circulate into the ducts and seep into your home.
  • The blower assembly: accumulated dirt is one thing that can severely impact your HVAC system. In addition to regular filter changes, the blower assembly needs a dusting and cleaning regularly, particularly ones with a squirrel-cage fan. Use a dry toothbrush to clean the fan blades and in between them, and vacuum everything that you’ve brushed out. If you have to disconnect anything, mark them to make re-installation simple.
  • Your thermostat: it’s highly sensitive to even slight variations in temperature, and it’s always possible that something can go wrong. Check the temperature, of course, and check to see if it’s set to “Heat.” But pay attention to what you’ve set it on versus what your room temperature is as well. A simple room thermometer is all you need for an objective reading. Dust and dirt can affect a thermostat as well as an accidental bump. Improper installation is also a cause for thermostat problems. Over time, connections may come loose and corroded near the bimetallic element. Tightening those connections and cleaning any corrosion with a cotton swab may take care of it. If your thermostat is truly not working, it’s time to replace it.

If these simple techniques don’t work, it’s time to call an HVAC repair company in Richmond for a heating and cooling inspection.

Call Us Today

In business since 1943, W.G. Speeks is the premier heating and cooling company in Richmond, VA. We can inspect your HVAC system, perform repair and maintenance, (including checking your thermostat) inspect and clean your air ducts and keep your system running efficiently. Call us at (804)276-2800 to get a quote and schedule your appointment.

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