The thermometer still says “summer,” but chilly weather will be here before you know it. Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G), New Jersey’s largest utility, encourages its residential gas heating customers to test their heating system now, before the first cold snap, so they can be confident it will operate safely and efficiently when temperatures begin to drop.
If they have a problem starting the system, a PSE&G service technician will come out to start the unit — at no charge — for customers who call or schedule online an appointment before Sept. 12. All appointments made before the Sept. 12 scheduling deadline will be honored at no cost to the customer. To make an appointment, customers can call 1-800-436-7734 or schedule it online at pseg.com/myaccount.
“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.”
How 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 that 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 (12-15 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 tight and correctly secured.
Make sure that all controls, valves, and electrical switches are in the “on” position.
How to start up 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. 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 five 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.
If you’re having problems:
Need help lighting the pilot? PSE&G will perform this service free-of-charge for customers who schedule this service before Sept. 12.
Not working properly? PSE&G customers can call 1-800-350-PSEG (7734) or go to www.pseg.com to register their account and schedule repair services online.
The utility also is asking customers to keep their homes and yards safe, well-lit and free of clutter, so PSE&G employees can safely access the meters and their equipment. Customers are asked to:
Warn PSE&G workers of any hazardous conditions on your property, such as loose steps or railings.
Make sure the path leading to your meters is clear and properly lit — especially stairways.
Keep dogs and other pets secured away from our workers and service areas.
Keep the area around your furnace, meter and appliances free and clear of clutter. Trim bushes and shrubs in the vicinity of meters located outdoors.