What to Do When Furnace Goes Out in Winter?

Furnace gone out? Not sure what to do?

Before you call a repair service, find out what steps you can take below when your furnace goes out this winter.

Let’s get started.

What to Do When Your Furnace Breaks this Winter

1. Check for gas

If your furnace does go out, then the first thing you want to do is check if there is a gas leak.

Natural gas doesn’t have a smell, but has an additive in it called mercaptan that smells like rotten eggs to make it easier to sniff out.

If you do smell gas, then you want to evacuate your house immediately as you are at risk of a house fire.

It’s better to not take any risks and call in your gas company to ensure that you and your family members are safe.

2. Look into why your furnace isn’t working

If you don’t smell gas, then there are a variety of reasons why your furnace won’t turn on:

Pilot light is out

If your pilot light is out, your furnace won’t be able to stay lit.

If you know how to ignite your furnace’s pilot light, then try to reignite it. You may even have an electronic ignition system so you won’t have to get dirty.

If you don’t know how to light a furnace’s pilot light, then you should call professional help to give you a hand. You can try resetting your furnace as well.

Thermostat is set incorrectly

While it may seem silly, someone may have turned off the thermostat when you weren’t looking or you forgot to turn it on yourself.

Ensure your thermostat is on the “Auto”, “On” or “Heat” setting to ensure that your entire house can get enough heat.

Power is out

Some furnaces (even gas) use electricity. If your circuit breaker is tripped that is connected to your furnace, then your furnace will not be able to operate correctly.

Turn on the circuit breaker that’s connected to your furnace and you shouldn’t have to get your furnace fixed.

Gas supply is low

Low gas will lead to your furnace not working.

If your other gas appliances in your home aren’t working, then you’ll need to call your gas company to come to refill your gas tank.

Air filter is clogged

If your air filter is clogged, then your furnace will not be able to regulate the airflow and be unable to heat your home.

It’s also important for the best air quality that you replace your furnace’s filter every 1 to 3 months depending on your usage.

3. Consider using another heating system

While it isn’t ideal, you may need to rely on space heaters for the time being.

A space heater is a cheap option to stay warm while you look into fixing your broken furnace.

If you have multiple people in your home and no space heaters, then move everyone into a central room so that the ambient room temperature rises from the body heat that everyone is producing.

Ensure all the windows and doors are closed so that no cold air gets inside. Do as much as you can to keep as much heat inside as you can and the room warm.

It’s always a good idea to keep around portable space heaters in case of an emergency if you live in a cold area.

4. Keep the pipes warm

If you are in the middle of a furnace breakdown, it’s important to remember you need your pipes to stay warm.

Consider leaving your faucet dripping and insulating your pipes if possible. A portable heater near the pipes can also prevent an expensive repair bill.

5. Consider calling in professional help

If you’re in the middle of winter and don’t know what to do when your furnace breaks, it’s never too late to call a furnace repair service.

They operate at all hours of the day and can help bring your HVAC system back to life.

Signs Your Furnace May Be Going Out

  • Your furnace is short cycling
  • You have high heating bills
  • Your furnace struggles to heat your home
  • Furnace is loud
  • Rooms are unevenly heated
  • Your furnace is more than 20 years old

How to Prevent Your Furnace from Going Out

The best way to prevent a broken furnace is by having maintenance done every 1 to 2 years. The ducts should also be cleaned every 3 to 5 years to keep your furnace working optimally.

If you don’t do regular maintenance, the wear and tear on your furnace can eventually lead to a breakdown (and a high repair bill).

Final Thoughts

While you wait for your furnace to be repaired during the cold winter months, grab some hot cocoa and heated blankets.

Before you know it, your furnace will be fixed and you’ll be able to keep warm.

If you haven’t already called a furnace repair service, you can rely on your local technicians.

About Roy Cohen

Roy Cohen has a burning passion for heating, cooling, and ventilation. He aims to help you save money on expensive repairs and bring you the best HVAC products. He has years of experience behind him in HVAC repair and garage maintenance.

You can find Roy at his LinkedIn or his email: [email protected]

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