NEWARK, NJ — In the middle of summer you may not be thinking about your furnace, but chilly weather will be here before you know it. PSE&G encourages its residential gas heating customers to test their heating systems now, so they can be confident systems will operate safely and efficiently when temperatures begin to drop.
If a customer has a problem starting the system, a PSE&G service technician will come out to start the unit — at no charge — for customers who make an appointment for now through Sept. 9. The regular fee for an inspection service call, offered Sept. 10 through Oct. 31, is $25. To make an appointment, customers can call 1-800-350-7734 or schedule online at nj.myaccount.pseg.com.
“Don’t wait until it gets cold to inspect your gas-fired heating system and make sure it starts and runs properly,” said Joe Forline, vice president of gas operations for PSE&G. “If there is a problem starting the system — even if it is just an unlit pilot — it is better to fix it now so it is ready to heat your home when you need it this fall.”
To check your heating system, check that the area surrounding the unit is free of combustible items including boxes, paper, clothing, paint and other flammables. Make sure the flue pipe is connected and in good condition. If you have a hot water boiler, check that the indicator on the pressure gauge falls into the normal range of 12 to 15 psi cold. If you have a steam heating system, check the water level in the sight glass. If it is low, turn on the water supply valve to bring the water level up to the halfway mark, and then turn off the valve. For warm-air furnace systems, check and replace dirty air filters; check that the blower door is closed tightly and correctly secured. Make sure that all controls, valves and electrical switches are in the “on” position.
To start your heating system, if the unit is equipped with a pilot, confirm that it is lit. If the pilot is out, follow the instructions on the heating unit to relight it, and then let the pilot light burn a few minutes before continuing. Many heating units use a form of automatic ignition; review the starting instructions located on the unit before continuing. Set each thermostat mode to “heat,” if equipped, and raise the setting 5 degrees above room temperature. The heating system should start within a minute or two. Let the unit run a few minutes to ensure it is operating normally and then return all controls to their previous settings.