When you're renting, asking for repairs can be stressful. However, there are times when requesting repairs becomes an emergency situation, especially where the heater is concerned. For instance, when your heater breaks down in the middle of a cold spell, you need heating repairs. Beyond that, here are four other situations that require you to notify your landlord of the need for emergency repairs to your heater.
You Smell Strange Odors
If your heater smells like dirt when you first turn it on, you're probably smelling the dust burn-off from the unit. However, if you're smelling something completely different, there could be a cause for concern. Four odors that you need to pay particular attention to include chemical, electrical, rotten eggs, and smoke. If you smell any of those odors when your heater is running, turn the unit off and contact your landlord immediately. They'll need to call for emergency heating repairs right away.
You Hear Unusual Sounds
Unusual sounds are another potential warning sign for your heater. Under normal circumstances, the heater in your rental unit won't make sounds beyond a basic hum. The humming sound is a sign that the heater is working properly. If the heater in your rental unit begins making sounds like screeching, popping, or scraping, then notify your landlord right away. Those types of sounds could be an indication that something is seriously wrong with the heater.
You Feel Cold Air From Vents
If the heater in your rental unit is blowing cold air through the vents, the first thing you need to do is check the thermostat. Someone could have accidentally switched the settings to fan or AC. If that's the case, a simple flip of the switch should fix the problem. If that's not the case, you could be looking at a couple of problems. First, the ducts may be leaking. Second, the unit may be overheating. Third, there could be a clog in the gas line that's preventing gas from getting through to the heater. In any of these situations, you need to have your landlord schedule repairs as soon as possible.
You See Pilot Light Problems
Finally, if the pilot light on the heater doesn't look right, you may need to call your landlord for repairs. If your rental home is heated by natural gas, the pilot light on the heater should be bright blue. However, if the pilot light flame is yellow, the thermocouple may need to be replaced, especially if the pilot light flame is also flickering or has split into two separate flames. If that's the case, you need to notify your landlord right away. Thermocouple replacements should be conducted by certified HVAC technicians.