There’s nothing worse than waking up in a freezing cold house in the middle of a cold winter night – except maybe when you know you have a big, expensive stove bill to pay later in the day!
But don’t get angry. With a few do-it-yourself tips, you can avoid costly professional repairs (and hours of waiting) by troubleshooting and repairing your oven yourself. You could be snuggling under the covers in a cozy warm house again in no time.
Here are nine things to check before calling your oven repair technician:
1. Make sure the power and gas are on
Not too easy to sound, but if you moved in over the summer and don’t need warmth, you may have forgotten to set up your account. Or it could simply be a power outage causing the problems. Make sure both electricity and gas are turned on before calling for help.
2. Replace your batteries
Some thermostats are plugged into the home’s electrical system, while others rely on battery power. If your home thermostat runs on batteries, replace them with a new device. When the oven turns on, you will know what is causing the problem.
3. Check your thermostat
Make sure your thermostat is set to “HEAT”. It’s easy enough to accidentally bump the switch while cleaning. If it is not set to “HEAT”, your stove will appear to be either blowing out cold air or not working at all. Also remember that the thermostat must be set to a temperature at which the oven will start. Try turning the dial to 90 to be sure. Then try to turn off the power for 30 seconds before turning the system back on. This will reset the processor in some units.
4. Check your breaker and kill switch
Take a look at your home’s electrical panel and find the circuit that controls the stove. If you see that the circuit breaker has tripped and is now in the “OFF” position, you need to reset it. Remember that for safety reasons, circuit breakers trip by alerting you that the system is drawing more current than it should. If you reset the breaker and it trips again, you should call your home owner or an electrician.
5. Replace the air filters
Clogged filters are a major cause of oven problems. Your oven has to work harder to clear the clog, and this can cause your heat exchanger to overheat and shut down. Newer ovens can be shut down earlier before further damage is caused. If your oven is not working or appears weak, change the air filter. Find the filter: it usually looks like a grate. Quickly check for dust and soot particles: note that not all filters are transparent, even if they are new. Then change the filter: make sure the oven is turned off and follow the directions on the oven or filter to ensure proper replacement.
6. Open the ventilation slots
Go through your house and make sure nothing is blocking the vents. A curtain, piece of furniture, laundry basket, or box can block ventilation and prevent heat flow.
7. Remove obstacles
Dirt outside can choke a heating unit. Check the outside for leaves, twigs, or trash that may have been sucked into the device. As a rule of thumb, you should keep a 3 foot radius around the device away from shrubs, plants, or other obstructions.
8. Check the indicator light
Pilot lights can burn out fairly easily, so many have specific lighting instructions on the device. Instructions from the manufacturer can be found in your device or in the operating instructions. If you’re not sure, it may be time to call an expert.
9. Know the age of your oven
Ovens can run for many years, but none of them will last forever. If your device is long past the manufacturer’s warranty, it may be time for an efficient upgrade. Try to find a service sticker on the device or paperwork in your files that tells you if age might be contributing.
If you’ve gone through this simple checklist and are still having issues with your oven, it’s time to call a technician to get your system back up and running.
Important note: if you smell gas, do not try to locate the leak. Leave home and call the Peoples Natural Gas 24-hour emergency number at 1-800-400-4271 or your local emergency number.
Funded by Peoples Natural Gas.
This is a paid article submitted by our content partner.
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