No Heat in Your House: What Should You Do?

4/25/2016 by Kevin Roman

It is upsetting to come home to a cold house or feel chilly because the heat has stopped working. Many of our customers ask us what they can do in this situation. We always tell them to call us right away so we can help. In addition to sending a technician we like to offer the following helpful tips for what you can do in a no-heat situation.

1. Check the Thermostat

If you hear or think the words, “It is chilly in here,” you should first head over to the thermostat. The room temperature and the set temperature should match on your thermostat or be within a degree. The set temperature is the degree you want your heating or cooling system to maintain.

Not sure which number is the room temp, and which is the set temp? Simply push the “up” button to a higher temp. The one that moves is the set temperature.

The room temperature may be higher than what you are asking the heating system to maintain due to sunny windows or heat generated from activity in the home. But if the room temperature is below the set temperature, first make sure the thermostat is in heat mode. Second, make sure the set temperature is above the room temperature. If you are still not getting heat you may need to change the batteries in the thermostat.

2. Check Your Safety Switch

If your home remains chilly, the next place to go is the top of the stairs to the basement. (Note: If you are unable to go in the basement, please call us right away. Your safety is our utmost concern, so please let us help you!) We receive many no-heat calls stemming from someone turning the safety switch off.

The safety switch is located at the top of the basement stairs, usually near the light switch. Check to see that it is in the ON position. If you find it in the OFF position, simply turn it back on.

3. Check Your Oil Level

If you still don't hear your heating system turn on or feel heat circulating, it's time to head to the basement to check the level of oil in your oil tank.

The gauge is typically located at the top of the tank. To be safe, we recommend using the bottom of the float as an indication of the amount of oil in the tank. (If you cannot read the gauge, please contact us to replace it.) As long as you have some oil in the tank it will work – most homes can get through a weekend on 10 gallons.

Note that you cannot tell if the tank is empty by knocking on it. Even a full oil tank will sound empty (go ahead -- give it a knock next time your tank is full!).

What if you're on automatic delivery? You should still check the level of oil. We work very hard not to let people run out of oil, but we do sometimes make mistakes.

4. Check the Safety Switch on Your Heating System

If you do have oil, then you next need to go to the heating system to see if that is causing the problem. There is a second safety switch on your heating system. It may be red and look exactly like the one at the top of the stairs. This switch should be in the ON position. If the switch is in the OFF position, then flip it to ON.

5. Hit the Reset Button on Your Heating System

If the unit doesn't fire, you can then hit the reset button. The reset button is located in a different spot on every heating system, but is usually on the control on the right-hand side of the burner. If you have a warm air furnace you may need to remove the front cover to get to the burner.

Hold the reset button down for one second and then release. Please note: ONLY HIT THE RESET BUTTON ONCE. Hitting the button multiple times may cause the system to smoke when it starts back up.

  • If nothing happens, then either the boiler is up to temperature or there is another problem and you need to call the office.
  • If the burner fires but shuts off again after about 45 seconds, do not hit the reset button again. Call the office to have us fix the problem.
  • If the burner fires and the unit continues to run, we should still look at your system but it should last you through the night.

We want to be the first place you turn to when you do not have heat. Therefore, if you come home to a cold house please do not worry – as a Roman Oil customer, we will always be there for you.

170 Research Parkway
Meriden, CT 06450
M - F: 8 am to 4 pm
t: 203-235-3371
f: 203-235-7895
License #302584
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