Many homes are equipped with a gas heating and air conditioning system that’s controlled by the same thermostat. This sort of system offers flexible operation and means the whole house climate is controlled by the one central thermostat. The system uses the same ductwork. This means that with the flick of a switch, the system can be switched to heating, or back to cooling and the thermostat is set to the desired temperature.
There are a few things that will go wrong with this sort of system, but the most typical problems can be fixed easily. For example, during the summer months, of course the air conditioner is in use while the heating system is switched off. As the seasons change, the air conditioner part will be turned off in favour of the heating part. It is extremely possible that the heater will not work since the last time it was last used.
Do not despair, as the remedy might be very simple and cost as little as a couple of dollars to repair if you do it yourself. First off check to verify if your pilot light is lit. Regularly, the pilot light can extinguish itself if the system is not in use. If it lights, you’re good to go. If not, the likeliest problem is with the thermocouple. The thermocouple is a probe that goes into the pilot light and essentially tells the gas control valve to remain open. If the thermocouple has failed, then it will automatically mean the gas control valve shuts, preventing gas going to the pilot light. These thermocouples are available for little money at any major DIY store, and are straightforward to replace. If you are uncertain how to try this, please call in an expert, but if you are handy, the job shouldn’t take particularly long to do.
Once installed, relight the pilot light (following the instructions on your heater system), and the light should remain lit. If it stays off, retry a few times, and then call your gas expert to troubleshoot the problem. But 90% of the time it is just the thermocouple which has failed.
This fast and simple heating and air conditioning tip should help to save you some considerable time and money.
Jay Parker is an author providing valuable information on DIY subjects. Dulin Mechanical Services is a contractor that focuses on heating and air – Charlotte, NC. The Dulin Mechanical website has further tips for home heating and air conditioning systems for property owners.