Cold weather is predicted for the weeks ahead. You’ll need to rely on your home’s heating system to take the bite out of the chilly air.

What if nothing happens when you turn up the heat?

It can be a sickening feeling when you adjust the thermostat and wait to hear the familiar dull “whump” of the heat coming on, but nothing occurs. Meanwhile, the temperature seems to drop another 10 degrees immediately. Don’t panic. Here are four steps you can take if your heating system stops working.

  1. Check your thermostat’s batteries. Simple as it seems, this is a common problem. Today’s digital thermostats and “smart” thermostats rely on batteries to keep them connected to the system. Most models will provide a flashing “battery low” message to remind you it is time for fresh batteries. Try swapping out your old batteries for new ones to see if this simple fix will correct the problem.
  2. Make sure the system is “on.” If your heating unit has a separate power switch, make sure it is in the “on” position. And check to be sure the emergency shut-off switch is also in the “on” position.
  3. Hit the reset button. Many heating systems are equipped with a reset button that will recycle the start-up process. Hit the reset button. If nothing happens, wait 30 minutes and try again.
  4. Check the fuel level. Failure of a heating system to start might mean that it is not receiving an adequate supply of oil. Check your oil tank’s level to be sure it is at least one-quarter full.
  5. Call Alvin Hollis at (781) 335-2100. If you are still having problems getting your heating system to start, don’t try to take apart and repair the unit yourself. Instead, call us. We’ll get an experienced technician out to assess the situation and provide a solution.

Two things to remember for next year. First, make sure you schedule an oil delivery before the weather turns cold. Better yet, get on an automated delivery schedule so you won’t have to worry about it. Second, have your system serviced, including a cleaning and tune-up, during the summer so you know it will be ready to go once the temperatures start to fall.

If you are experiencing problems with your heating system, call Alvin Hollis at (781) 335-2100. Our service technicians have the skills, experience and resources to correct most issues.