According to the Weather Channel, Oklahoma’s average low in October is right around 52 degrees Fahrenheit: that’s no time for cold showers or cool interior temperatures. Your furnace and hot water heater are two important fixtures in your home it can be easy to forget about, until they stop working. Instead of waiting for them to start giving you problems, why not prevent the problem in the first place?
The Hot Water Heater
This can be an intimidating repair if you aren’t used to doing it yourself, although it isn’t difficult. Your water heater can fail for a variety of reasons: damaged thermostats, leaky valves, a pesky pilot light. If you’re unsure about your water heater or don’t feel comfortable investigating the problem yourself, hire a professional.
- First, before you do anything else, it’s important to turn of the circuit breaker and any gas that may go to your water heater. If you smell gas near your water heater, leave and contact your gas company immediately. As an added precaution, familiarize yourself with the directions printed on your water heater.
- If there’s no hot water, it’s likely that your pilot light has simply gone out. Follow the instructions on your water heater to relight the pilot light using a long-handled lighter.
- If you’re hearing strange noises, you may have mineral build-up inside your water tank. You’ll need to drain the tank and clean out the sediment. Unless you’re familiar with this task, it is best to call a professional.
- If there’s water on the floor near the tank, you have a leak. First check the pipes and valves; if the leak continues, you’ll want to contact a professional.
- If your water just isn’t hot enough, first check the thermostat on the water heater. If its set appropriately and still isn’t warm, you may try flushing out your tank. Also be sure to check the tank’s dip tube: if it’s broken, your tank won’t be able to heat your water properly.
If you have checked all of the above and you’re still having problems with your water heater, it’s best to call your gas company and a professional. The problem could be a more serious problem for your gas company, or it could simply be something you’ve overlooked. Either way, this is not a time for cold showers!
Whatever type of furnace you have, there are a few common heating malfunctions that could leave you out in the cold. While most can be fixed yourself if you’re feeling especially handy, you can always hire a professional to make sure the work is done right:
- Thermostat malfunctions are easy to diagnose: if your temperature is set above room temperature and the heat fan is on, there should be no problems!
- The furnace itself may experience problems with its power or pilot light. You may check the breaker, fuse, switch, and/or pilot light if your fan is not running. If you notice any burn spots or broken wires, you may want to call a professional immediately.
- Air filters can get clogged with dirt and dust, preventing clean air flow. It’s important to make sure they are maintained properly.
If all of those have been checked and you’re still having trouble, you may want a professional to come diagnose your problem. Sometimes the problem can be more complicated than what a routine maintenance check could fix, and it’s well worth it to get your home back in working order! Don’t expect your home to stay warm without a little help: regular maintenance is the only way to survive an Oklahoma winter!