Do You Need Emergency Heater Repair?

Keeping your home warm in the winter can be tough even when your heating system is working properly. If it’s not, that’s when things get dicey. But how do you know which heating problems are an emergency and which aren’t? Here’s what to know and who you can call when heating problems threaten your family’s health and safety. 

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What’s Considered a Heating Emergency?

Not all heating issues are considered an emergency. Some are just annoying or inconvenient, but don’t really pose a threat to the safety and health of your family. Others are immediate concerns that require you to act now.

For example, if it’s cold enough outside that a lack of heat would put you at risk of hypothermia, or there’s a gas leak that could be fatal, you need heating services you can trust – now. If your heat is working but just won’t get as high as you’d like, this can wait until the next day or even a little longer.

Top 5 Signs You Need Heater Repair Now

It can be tough to decide if you really need to make that emergency HVAC call or not, especially if your heating system starts acting up at night or on the weekend. But any of these signs mean you need to pick up the phone sooner rather than later:

1. Your System Isn’t Making Enough Heat

Regardless of what the actual problem is, if your heating system isn’t generating enough warmth to keep your house above 64 degrees Fahrenheit, this is an emergency.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that cold indoor temps contribute to cardiovascular and respiratory disease and increases the number of annual winter mortalities. In the U.S., about 1,300 people die of cold exposure every year, many of them in homes that simply don’t have enough heat.

WHO studies indicate that 64 degrees Fahrenheit is the cutoff point at which human health remains unaffected by cool indoor temps. Below this, reports show marked increases in infant mortality, depression, heart disease, and the overall number of hospital admissions.

2. Your Furnace Flame Is Yellow

A pilot light is a small flame in your furnace that stays lit all the time. This is what ignites the fuel coming from the main burner so warmth can be generated and transferred to the heat exchanger. The blue color comes from the burning of the chemical methane.

The flame may have a red or yellow tip, but this is perfectly normal. If the entire flame is yellow, this indicates the presence of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and extremely dangerous. In low concentrations, it can cause negative health effects like headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Prolonged or excessive exposure may result in long-term complications and death.

3. You Smell Rotten Eggs

Like carbon monoxide, natural gas is odorless. However, a compound is always added that smells like sulfur or rotten eggs. This is so that gas leaks can be more easily detected.

If you’re smelling rotten eggs or sulfur in your home and you have natural gas heating, this likely means you have a leak and need to take action immediately. Leave as quickly as possible, opening your windows on the way out to prevent the buildup of dangerous gas and eliminate the potential for explosion.

4. You Hear Popping or Sparking Sounds

Popping, sparking, or crackling sounds in your heater could mean there’s an electrical shortage somewhere. This is a fire risk and requires you to shut off your heater right away. You don’t want to wait until you see sparks to address the issue. But with your heat off in the winter, you need an HVAC technician to come right away.

5. Your Carbon Monoxide Detector Keeps Going Off

Carbon monoxide detectors are as essential as smoke detectors. If you don’t have one, now is the time to get it installed. If you do have a detector and the alarm won’t stop tripping, this probably means it’s sensing the harmful gas. Instead of assuming the alarm is faulty, take it seriously and contact a qualified heating service professional.

N.E.T.R., Inc. – Your Trusted Boston Emergency Heating Repair Experts

At N.E.T.R., Inc., we respond quickly to emergency HVAC calls to help keep your family safe and comfortable no matter what the winter weather brings. Contact us today at (781) 896-0668 to learn more about our heating services or to set up a time for our team of experienced technicians to come to you.