What to Do When Your Heater Won’t Start

Cold home

The calendar says it’s still fall here in Long Island, but you wouldn’t know it if you stepped outside: most of us are already relying on our heating system every day to keep our families warm, safe and comfortable.

But what if you wake up – or come home to – a cold house?

One thing you should definitely not do if your heater won’t start is panic – after all, Burt’s Reliable’s got you covered with 24/7 emergency no-heat service if you need it (they don’t call us reliable for nothing!). But before you contact us, it’s a good idea to check a few things – the problem might be easier to fix than you think.

Here are four things you should check before you contact us for emergency heating service:

  • Check the oil level in your tank – Most of us go all summer without thinking about getting a heating oil delivery, especially if we don’t use heating oil to power our water heater. If you have less than a quarter of a tank, you should contact us for a heating oil delivery right away. If you don’t have a gauge or you have an underground tank, an easy way to determine your oil level is to use a yard stick or tape measure to see the height of oil in your tank.

    Another option? Skip all of those hassles, sign up for Automatic Delivery from Burt’s, and never think about your heating oil supply again.

  • Check the emergency switch – You’ve probably seen that red light switch on your furnace before but not known what it is. An emergency switch is part of a safety system in your furnace that’s designed to shut your system down if it thinks the burner flame has gone out. Sometimes your heating system is wrong, however, and a simple flip of the emergency switch will have you back in heating business.
  • Try the reset button – Somewhere on the heater itself there should be a button clearly labeled “RESET”. Turn your thermostat up to the highest setting and press this button, but only once: doing it more than once could flood your heating equipment with oil. If you have oil, the emergency switch is on, and there are no issues with the heater, it should turn right back on; if it doesn’t, you will need professional service.
  • Check your circuit breaker – A breaker will “trip” if too much power is surging through the circuit it controls; this helps to prevent electrical fires. Most of the time a simple flip of the circuit breaker switch will restore power; do that and check your heater again. If it still doesn’t work, contact us for service.

Stay warm and safe this heating system with Burt’s behind you every step of the way! Contact us today for expert heating system service and reliable heating oil deliveries anywhere in our North Fork or East End service areas.