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Choosing A Plumbing & Heating Contractor

Home heating repair: what to expect when you need help

Has something gone drastically wrong with your home heating system? Are you wondering how on earth you can get it back in working order without a call to your local maintenance man? Well don’t worry- we don’t bite. You can always try DIY home repairs– but the problem might not be as simple as it first appears.

The good news is that there’s always going to be someone out there who can help you. The point of this post is to let you know what to expect from home heating repair.

Diagnosis: what’s wrong with your heating system?

Even if you do your best to save on your water heating bill, and hardly use your heating system at all, problems can still occur, and even if you get regular maintenance. There’s nothing you can do to prevent an Act of God!

The first thing your repairman will do is to actually diagnose what’s wrong with your heating system. Home heating repair is easy if the problem’s obvious- a blown pipe, for instance. But electronic fixtures are less easy to fix. That’s why the first thing we’ll do is to take a look at what might have stopped your heating from working. The service provider should follow a clear, precise and thorough set of guidelines in identifying what’s gone wrong, so that the exact problem can be pinpointed and resolved.

Your repairman may have to check every part of your heating system to find the issue. But once they have, they should be able to offer you a quotation for both parts and labor. If you accept their offer, they can get straight to work, so long as they have the parts- more on that later.

home heating repair

Low hot water pressure is often one of the first signs that your heating system isn’t working properly. Free photo: Shower, Douche, Bathroom, Clean – Free Image on Pixabay – 1027904 : taken from – https://pixabay.com/en/shower-douche-bathroom-clean-water-1027904/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/

What are some common problems with home heating?

There are a number of common home heating accidents that can damage the heating system, or even your entire home. There are also a number of common problems that stop your heating system from working as it should.

  • You’re not getting any hot water. Obviously, if your boiler or furnace isn’t producing hot water, there’s something wrong with it.
  • Your boiler itself is leaking water. This isn’t a healthy sign. A common reason is that some internal component, like a seal or a pressure valve, has either broken or corroded away. The cause could be either ageing or broken components, or it could be that the pressure is too high. Either way, it’s not wise to deal with this problem yourself.
  • Some kind of strange noise, like banging or gurgling, is coming from your heating system. Again, this could be because of a pressure problem, or it could be that there’s air stuck in the pipes.
  • Your heating system turns on and off at random times. If your heating is electronic, well, it’s most likely an electronic problem! But it could also be because of low water pressure, or a thermostat issue.
  • The pressure keeps dropping. Common sense should tell you that if the pressure in your heating system keeps dropping, then there’s a leaky pipe somewhere that needs to be fixed. But it could also be an issue with your pressure gauge, which might be giving an incorrect reading, and forcing your heating to act strangely.  

Furnaces should receive regular maintenance, but even if they do, they can still break down.

Can they fix the problem with my heating there and then?

Some home heating repair jobs can be done straight away. If you have an old fashioned boiler or furnace, one that isn’t even electronic, then your repairman might be able to fix it immediately. Older models more commonly rely on readily available parts like nuts and bolts than chips and circuit boards. That might mean they’re less efficient, but it also means they’re much easier to repair in some cases. Your repairman might have the parts in their truck, or might even be able to source them from a local hardware store.

The main reason why your repairman may not be able to complete a job is because they need to send off for parts. This is especially the case with electronic boilers which sometimes use brand-specific parts. If the model is particularly rare, or has been discontinued for a long time, then your repairman might not have the part to hand. In fact, they may have to replace your boiler or furnace in its entirety. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing: new, modern heating systems are often far more cost-effective than their older counterparts. So you’ll be saving money in the long run, anyway.

Your repair man should clean up after themselves!

Good repairmen are always respectful of the house they’re working in, and the client they’re working with. That’s because most repairmen are sole proprietors, and run their own local business. Word would quickly get around if they aren’t pleasant to work with! So, after the job is done, your repairman shouldn’t leave a huge mess for you to clean up.

Most home heating repair men are polite, patient and easy to work with. Their business depends on it, after all. So if you do need to call someone out for home heating repair, don’t worry- we’ll be gentle! And in the future, to prevent any more accidents, you should schedule regular ‘tune up’ visits that will keep your heating system in top condition.

When evaluating a home service company there all sorts of qualities that you will want to consider

How long have they been in business?

A company that advertises long term warranties but has only been in business a year or two might be something to give some thought to.  It’s OK to offer long term warranties, and the company may be doing business and building a brand for themselves that indicate that they are going to be around a long time to cover their warranty claims, after all every company has to cover one once in a while no matter how good they are.  But what if a company is new to the market, offering long term warranties, and does not have good customer reviews and comments let alone a high BBB rating.  That company’s claims to offer long term warranties are not too valuable to you.

Are they locally owned or a national company?

Either one can be good or bad. A local company usually has an owner who is concerned with his own reputation in the community as it is affected by his relationship with his company. He is likely available to help clear up issues that might come up with service or quality. On the other hand national companies generally have significant corporate standards that they have to live by. Sometimes these are motivated only by profits but often they are motivated by an understanding that repeat and referral business is the key to success and that without those customers willing to spend more money with them on subsequent visits they will soon run out of customers. The real goal should be to find a company that is the best of both worlds, local with high standards of quality service. This company is concerned about building long term customer relationships by providing consistently high quality. They have a vested interest in the community since the owner and all the employees live there.

Are they fully licensed and insured?

This is a biggie.  There are lots of people out there performing similar service out of their garage or the back of their pick-up or van. Although the end result might be similar for a lot less money what happens when something goes wrong. You might as what could go wrong? Let me tell you. After being in business for almost 30 years in our community we’ve seen many things that can and do go wrong. Employees have been injured while performing their work in the home. Property has been accidentally damaged. We’ve seen jobs that have been done that don’t meet standard building codes and the customer has had to pay a reputable company to re-do them after paying the first person to do it wrong. It’s important to make sure the company you hire is licensed and fully insured. This protects you from accidents and the company buying permits for the work they do and then having that work inspected puts another set of eyes on the project to confirm that it was done safe and correctly.

What about the individuals that are dispatched to your home?

Just because the company passes all the tests doesn’t mean that each of their employees will. What should you look for in a technician and how can you check them out? Click here to read our post.

If you need help with your Pueblo area home’s plumbing, heating or air conditioning, we can help. Learn more about Patterson Plumbing & Heating, click here.

How Do You Know You Can Trust The Plumber Or Heating And Air Tech Sent To Your Home?

Do you know the people you invite into your home?  You might answer “of course I do, no one comes into my home without my knowing them.” And that is probably a very true statement most of the time since anyone invited into your home would be someone you know and trust. However, what about when you have the need to hire a home service or repair company? How do you know you can trust the person that is dispatched to your home, even if you called a longstanding reputable company? It’s important to know the background and reputation of the individual that is coming into your home to provide the service; after all it is that person that you will ultimately have to trust with your valuables and the welfare and safety of yourself and your family.

Unfortunately, today there are quite a few “shady” people with less than stellar reputations in the construction and home service industries and it falls to the homeowner to do the due diligence of protecting themselves and their families from such individuals.

Some questions that come to mind when we start thinking about the risk associated with hiring a home service company are . . .

  • How can I find out about the reputation of a service company?
  • What questions should I ask and to whom?
  • Is the company insured?  Does it matter?
  • What if they get hurt on the job in my home? Who is responsible?
  • How can I find out about the background of an individual employed by my company of choice?

We’ll help to address these important concerns and answer questions in the following posts.

To learn more about Patterson Plumbing & Heating and why we are your best choice for Pueblo, Colorado Plumbers, click here.