Sure, it's still hot as Hades outside. But look at the calendar: now's the time to make an appointment to get your heating system checked out. You don't want to find out on the first day of a cold snap that the furnace isn't working.
Gas heating customers are getting a special incentive to turn the heat on now: PSE&G, which services the area, will come out and start your unit at no charge through Sept. 9 if there is a problem with the system.
The gas utility offers these tips for checking your heating system:
- Verify that the area surrounding the unit is free of combustible items like boxes, paper, clothing, paint, etc.
- Make sure that the flue pipe is connected and in good condition.
- If you have a hot water boiler, verify that the indicator on the pressure gauge falls into the normal range (12-15 psi cold).
- If you have a steam heating system, check the water level in the sight glass. If it is low, turn on the water supply valve to bring the water level up to the half-way mark. Turn off the valve.
- For warm-air furnace systems, check and replace dirty air filters. Verify that the blower door is closed tight and correctly secured.
- Verify that all controls, valves, and electrical switches are in the “On” position.
How to start up your heating system:
- If the unit is equipped with a pilot, confirm that it’s lit. If the pilot light is out, follow the instructions on the heating unit to relight it. Let the pilot light burn a few minutes before continuing.
- Many heating units use a form of automatic ignition. Review the starting instructions located on the unit before continuing.
- Set each thermostat mode to “heat” (if equipped) and raise the setting five degrees above room temperature. The heating system should start within a minute or two.
- Let the unit run a few minutes to ensure it’s operating normally and then return all controls to their previous settings.
If you’re having problems:
- Need help lighting the pilot? PSE&G will perform this service free-of-charge through September 9, 2012. PSE&G will charge $25 for this service from September 10 through October 31.
- Not working properly? PSE&G customers can call 1-800-350-PSEG (7734) or go to www.pseg.com to register their account and schedule repair services online for assistance from our appliance service technicians.