Nothing is more frustrating than realizing that one of your appliances isn't working properly. This can be especially unsetting if that appliance is your heater. A heater that won't turn on can leave you and your family cold during the middle of winter. Here is a list of things you can do to identify heating system malfunctions so you can have them fixed as soon as possible:

1. Figure out if your thermostat is broken.

Heating systems are controlled by a thermostat which lets them know how much heat should be produced. If your heating system isn't working, the problem might not be an equipment malfunction at all. Especially as the outside temperature warms up, a heater that won't turn on might be acting that way because of an improperly set thermostat. If your thermostat isn't set higher than the ambient temperature, your heater will not blow warm air throughout your house. If adjusting your thermostat doesn't fix the problem, there may be a mechanical issue affecting your thermostat or the heater itself.

2. Check your pilot light.

Heaters that are powered by natural or man-made gas utilize a pilot light. The pilot light is a small flame that allows your heater to turn on when necessary. Ordinarily, the pilot light is sustained by a small flow of gas from your furnace's gas line. If the gas stops flowing for whatever reason, your pilot light can go out. You can check your pilot light by opening the pilot valve box on your furnace. Relight an extinguished pilot light by turning on the gas and using a long lighter or match to light it. If it refuses to light, there may be a leak in your gas line, and you will need to contact a heating repair service. Gas leaks are very dangerous and should be addressed as soon as possible.

3. Check your furnace intake vents.

Fire requires both oxygen and fuel to burn effectively. Since furnaces provide heat through combustion, they also need these two things. Your furnace's intake vents allow the appliance to draw in air which will be converted into heat through the combustion process. If the vent is clogged, dirty, or blocked by an object, your furnace may work inefficiently or not at all. If there is no visible object blocking your vents, then the clog might be internally located. A heating repairman can dismantle your furnace to more thoroughly clean it and remove any clogs.

Identifying the problem can allow you to give your heating repairman relevant information to help them fix the problem quickly. A damaged gas line, blown fuse, or clogged drain line can leave you cold. Your heating repair service can fix any problem so you can go back to being warm and comfortable in your house. Find a professional who provides heating repair for more information.