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What To Do If Your Furnace Goes Out

 

Colder weather is starting to set in around Northern Colorado, homeowners turn to their furnaces and heating systems for comfort and heat to keep their homes livable. Waking up in the middle of the night to a cold house can be extremely stressful and can leave you wondering what you should do.

If your furnace goes out, your first thought is probably to call a local repair company (preferably Ideal Comfort) but there are a few things you can check on your own which can get your home back to comfortable temperatures without even opening your wallet.

Check The Power

Furnace power switch

The first step should be checking to make sure there is power going to the furnace. This might seem like a no brainer, but it is possible for a furnace that has a switch to accidentally get turned off. Houses can heat up during the day and it’s possible you won’t notice the furnace being off until the temperatures drop off. 

Some furnaces have switches on the unit that look similar to a light switch, if the switch is off, turn it back on and wait a few minutes. There is often a delay between flipping the switch and the furnace kicking on. If you don’t have a furnace switch, you can check that the circuit breaker is on at your breaker panel.

Check The Thermostat

It’s possible the problem doesn’t fall on the furnace, but on your thermostat. Problems can arise when if it has been bumped, so make sure the thermostat is securely attached to the wall. Also, check the wires connected to the thermostat for any splices, disconnections, or loose wires. This can be repaired using electrical tape, but only if you have electrical experience.

Make sure to check that the thermostat is set to heat. Set the temperature to 5 degrees warmer than the current temperature and see if the furnace kicks on.

If the thermostat still isn’t working, try resetting it. 

Furnace gas valve in open and closed positionFurnace Getting Gas

It’s also possible that your furnace isn’t getting gas. The easiest way to check this is to check another gas-fueled appliance, such as a stove. If a burner on the stove is able to be lit, you know this isn’t the issue.

However, if your stove is not working either check the gas valve (image) and make sure it is on and parallel to the gas line pipe (image) If this is all correct, call your gas company. 

For propane, check the gauge on the tank and see if it’s empty. If it is empty you’ll need to get it refilled.

Clogged Air Filter

One of the simplest fixes that we often see is a clogged filter. Make sure your furnace and thermostat are turned off prior to inspecting the filter. Furnaces are set to turn off if there is too much heat or pressure as a safety measure. A dirty furnace filter will trap the heat and air with no chance of escaping, causing this safety feature to be used.

If you have a dirty filter, you should get a new one as soon as possible to replace your old, dirty one. You can run your furnace for a short time without a filter, but you can cause serious damage if you run it for a long time without a filter.

If it is a washable filter wash it out, let it dry, put it back in the unit, and turn the power to the furnace and thermostat back on.

Inspect Registers

Can you feel the heat in some rooms, but not all of them? This could be an issue with the registers and returns, check and make sure that all dampers are open (the small grates on the floor and ceiling) and Can you see through the flaps are they a solid surface? If you cannot see through the flaps, they are closed. 

Problems With Condensate Pan

A condensate pan is located under the furnace (typically) and catches additional condensation not used in the heating and cooling process. Over time, water or other debris can clog the pan and lead to the furnace not running. 

Because this is usually a result of another issue bigger, we recommend that you call a professional to fix this. 

Call a Professional

If you’ve tried all of these options and still have intermediate heat or no heat at all, it’s time to call the professionals

Furnace problems can be hard to diagnose for the untrained person and furnace repairs can be almost impossible, but Ideal Comfort is here to help you out if your furnace stops working.

And in a world where companies seem to take advantage of homeowners like yourself, Ideal Comfort strives to make sure you can trust your HVAC company. With our open pricing as well as tips to fixing and maintaining your system, you can rest easy and comfortably knowing that Ideal Comfort won’t take advantage of you because just like you we want what’s best for you and your HVAC system. 

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