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Programmable Thermostat Problem and Easy Fix

Programmable thermostats are great for managing the heat of your house and conserving on fuel usage.  One thing you can’t forget if you have one of these is to annually REPLACE the batteries.  If you don’t check, the batteries will eventually corrode the terminals and render the thermostat useless which will result in no heat and a service call that is not covered under most fuel oil contracts.

The batteries, even while corroding can provide enough energy to make the thermostat appear to be fine and then when it finally dies, you need new batteries and a new thermostat.  Even if the batteries look good they MUST be changed annually.  The cost of buying a new programmable thermostat ranges from $70 dollars onward so do yourself a favor and replace the thermostat batteries each time you change your fire alarm batteries and/or carbon monoxide alarm batteries.

If your burner should fail to start

If your heating system isn’t working, you might ask yourself what should I do?  There are several simple steps that you should do before you call your home heating provider.  These might save you some trouble or even save you the cost of a service call.  Most companies will charge the homeowner even if they are under contract if the cause of the call was self induced.

  1. Check the thermostat.  Turn it well above room temperature.  Someone may have adjusted the setting so start here if your house feels too cold.  Children love to flick switches and turn knobs so always check before calling.
  2. Check the master on/off furnace/boiler/hot water switch.  Is it on or off?  If it is off flip it on.  Someone very easily could have flipped the switch on you.  A house guest, a child, etc…
  3. Check your electrical panel for blown fuses or tripped breakers.
  4. Make sure there is oil in your tank.  If your tank is above ground, there usually will be a gauge that is easy to read.  If it is below ground, you will need a measuring stick to “stick” the tank and determine if you have oil or not.
  5. If the burner has shut off on safety, press the red button on the primary control (or a glowing red button on a Riello brand burner).  Make sure the thermostat is set above room temperature and ONLY PRESS THE RESET BUTTON ONCE.  Pressing the reset button more than once will flood the system with oil and cause more trouble, along with a lot of smoke and soot when it lights.  If the system should fail a second time, or fail to operate after pressing the reset button, call your service technician.
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