What do you do if you wake up in the morning or come home from work and your furnace is not working? Your initial reaction might be to pick up the phone and call an experienced furnace repair company, which may be necessary. However, before you make that phone call there are several things you can check to see if you can resolve the problem on your own and save the money you would otherwise spend for the service call.
Is the Power On?
This might seem like an obvious thing to check, but you would be surprised how many people call for furnace repair during power outages or because their furnace’s breaker switch has been switched off. So, you will want to verify your home has power and if it does, the next thing to check is whether the breaker switch for the furnace was not tripped by checking the breakers in the breaker box and looking for the one labelled as “Furnace.”
Depending upon the age of your furnace, you could also have a power switch, which looks like a regular light switch. If you have a furnace switch, it is normally located near the furnace unit and you will want to make sure it did not accidentally get turned off.
Is the Furnace Door Open?
Newer furnace models have a safety switch on their doors. If the door is not securely shut and comes open, it will stop the furnace from running. Verify the furnace door has not come open and the door is securely shut.
Is the Thermostat Set Correctly?
If you have kids or a spouse, you need to check the thermostat and verify the furnace is turned on (set to heat). Additionally, verify the temperature setting was not turned all the way down, otherwise the furnace will not kick on until the home reaches this temperature. You would be astonished by just how many calls are made for repair service, and yet, when the technician arrives, the problem is because the thermostat was either turned down or turned off. If you have a battery operated model, this is a great time to check the batteries and replace them if needed.
Is the Air Filter Dirty?
A dirty air filter can cause many furnace woes since air is not able to flow freely through the filter. With dirty filters, the furnace has to work harder to heat the home, using more energy, but operating at a reduced efficiency level. As a result, the furnace could overheat and stop working.
A quick check of the air filter will let you know if this could potentially be the issue. Replacing the dirty filter with a new one could resolve your problems. If you have a newer furnace, remember you may have two filters to check:
- Return Air Filter: This filter is normally located on the front of the air return vent and is typically located on a wall, in a hallway or open room, somewhere in the home, away from the furnace.
- Furnace Air Filter: This filter is located right next to the furnace.
Depending on the dust levels within your home, it is recommended to change your furnace filters every 1 to 3 months. Although, some filters are designed to be changed less frequently. If you are in doubt, then this is a good time to schedule annual furnace maintenance with Distinct Heating and Cooling.
Are the Furnace’s Exhaust Pipes Blocked?
Some newer, high efficiency furnace models have exhaust pipes, which are vented out of the side of the home. Sometimes snow, ice, leaves, or other debris gets into the exhaust pipes. This causes the furnace to initiate a safety feature and automatically shut itself off. If you notice a blockage in the exhaust pipes, be careful to not push it further into the pipes. If you are not able to remove the blockage yourself, please call a professional.
Hopefully, by reviewing these tips you are able to get your furnace running again and avoid a service call. However, after checking the items mentioned above, if your furnace still will not turn on, do not hesitate and call Distinct Heating & Cooling now at 403-477-3810. We would be happy to lend our expertise and knowledge to fix your furnace. We are available 24/7 and provide emergency repair services throughout the greater Calgary area.