Losing heat during the winter can be frustrating and uncomfortable, but fortunately, you can do a few things to maintain warmth and prevent costly repairs. This article covers what to do when your furnace goes out in winter and the steps you can take to prevent the issue from happening in the future. As Oakland Park’s furnace repair experts, our team at Cool By Design can help you navigate any heating issues and provide prompt, reliable repairs.
Steps to Take When Your Furnace Malfunctions
If your home furnace fails to provide heat, it’s vital to take action as soon as possible. Many issues can cause a furnace to malfunction, including air resistance levels, cracked heat exchangers, dirty air filters, and more. Fortunately, homeowners can often resolve these issues with routine maintenance or by hiring an HVAC contractor for emergency services.
Three common problems develop with furnace systems: clogs in the ductwork, faulty switches, and thermostat problems. It’s essential to contact a qualified technician if you suspect any of these issues to prevent further damage to the system.
The following sections cover the most common reasons for furnace failure so you know what to do when your furnace goes out in the winter.
Ensure Safety First
When your furnace goes out, the first step is always to ensure you and your family are safe in the home. Regardless of the age of your furnace or the type of issue you are experiencing, it’s critical to make sure the area is free from fire hazards. The first thing to check is whether you smell gas near the furnace or anywhere else in the home.
If this is the case, turn off all gas appliances and leave the house immediately. Gas leaks can cause severe injuries and even death, so it’s best to take all necessary precautions to prevent the issue from escalating. Once you’ve ensured your safety, call your HVAC contractor for help troubleshooting the problem.
Check Thermostat Settings
The first thing you can do when your heater goes out is to check your thermostat to ensure it is on “heat” instead of “cool.” Your thermostat controls the temperature in your home and sends a signal to the furnace to start or stop running. Therefore, if your thermostat is malfunctioning, it can prevent your furnace from turning on or even cause it to continue running continuously.
Changing your thermostat setting is a simple task that residents can complete quickly without contacting a technician, making it a good place to start if you suspect your system isn’t functioning properly.
Clean Vents and Ducts
Another critical thing to check is your vents to ensure that air flows freely through them with minimal resistance. If your vents are full of debris or dirty, it can cause poor airflow and reduce the efficiency of your furnace. This issue can be especially problematic during the winter when the cold air outside makes it difficult for your furnace to reach optimal temperatures.
To ensure adequate airflow through your vents, remove obstructions like pet hair and dust from the grilles and vacuum the ducts to eliminate any dirt and debris hiding inside them. You should also check to ensure that you don’t have any disconnected or damaged vents, as this can lead to reduced airflow and limit the effectiveness of your system.
Check Air Filters
Another issue that can increase air resistance in your unit and cause a failure is clogged air filters. Over time, dust and dirt can accumulate on your filters and reduce the airflow throughout your system. This blockage can reduce the effectiveness of your furnace and make it take longer to heat your home.
It can also cause excess wear on your system and shorten the lifespan of your equipment. To avoid this problem, you should check your filters regularly to ensure they remain clean and unblocked.
Make Sure Pilot Light Is Lit
If the pilot light in your furnace goes out, it can cause the entire unit to stop working. This issue usually stems from a problem with the thermocouple, a sensor that controls the flame in your pilot light. If the thermocouple fails, it will no longer sense heat in the pilot light and will shut off the gas supply to the furnace.
To fix this issue, you’ll need to contact a heating technician to inspect the unit and replace the faulty component.
Consider Electrical Issues
While many homeowners wonder what to do when their furnace goes out in winter, you can use several strategies to keep your system running smoothly.
One of the most important things to check is the status of your electrical wiring. Older homes tend to have outdated wiring in poor condition, which can cause issues and lead to various problems ranging from circuit breaker trips and low-voltage lights to flickering lights and power surges.
Beyond increasing the safety risks associated with an older electrical system, these issues can also damage your furnace’s components and cause failures. In addition, electric repairs are always hazardous, so hiring a qualified technician to inspect and repair the system is essential.
How to Stay Warm While Waiting for Repairs
If you’re wondering what to do when your furnace goes out in winter, it’s crucial to fix the problem as soon as possible. However, there may still be some cold days left before you can get the unit repaired, so you should have a plan for staying warm. Here are a few tips for keeping your family safe and comfortable while you wait for the technician to arrive:
Dress in Layers
Make sure everyone in your family stays bundled up from head to toe. This strategy can help prevent them from catching a cold or developing a sore throat due to the cold air. In addition, layering your clothes helps to conserve body heat, so ensure everyone is wearing loose-fitting clothing that consists of thick wool fabrics.
Use Space Heaters
While a space heater is usually insufficient to keep your entire home warm on its own, it can be beneficial for keeping you comfortable while you wait for technicians to complete repairs. Therefore, placing a space heater in the most high-traffic areas of your home is an excellent way to heat these areas without wasting energy. You may also want to put one in your family member’s bedrooms to ensure everyone in the home is as warm as possible while sleeping.
Keep Windows and Doors Shut
Closing the doors and windows of your home helps prevent warm air from escaping and reduces the energy you use to heat your home. This factor can make a significant difference if your house is already chilly or you’re dealing with problems with your heater.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
When the temperature in your home drops due to a faulty furnace or heating unit, it can lead to frozen pipes. Frozen pipes are a serious problem because they can inflict serious damage to your plumbing system and may even lead to floods in your home. Fortunately, homeowners can take steps to prevent this from happening.
If your furnace is failing and you need to prevent your pipes from freezing, the first step is to insulate your pipes properly. Wrap any exposed water pipes with foam insulation to keep them from freezing.
Additionally, using space heaters and other strategies to keep your home as warm as possible while waiting for repairs can significantly reduce the risk of more severe issues. Finally, you should keep your faucets running at a trickle during cold weather to help prevent freezing. These steps can help keep yourself and your family safe and comfortable during the cold winter season when your heating system fails.
Schedule Furnace Repair Service Today
It’s imperative to take extra precautions during winter to protect yourself and your family from the cold weather. Unfortunately, many things can cause problems with your furnace, such as lack of maintenance, improperly sized heating equipment, poor installation, or wear and tear over time. If you’re dealing with issues with the furnace in your home, it’s crucial to find a company that specializes in professional furnace repair in your area so that you can get the service you need as quickly as possible.
Our experts at Cool By Design have years of experience working with various furnace types and sizes and can diagnose your problem quickly and recommend the most effective solution for your needs. We always prioritize customer satisfaction and strive to provide the best possible experience. Anytime you notice your furnace not working as it should, our Cool By Design team can find the best solution for you and your household.
We provide free estimates and convenient appointment times for broken furnace repairs, so you can immediately and affordable fix your system. Now that you know what to do when your furnace goes out in winter, don’t hesitate to call Cool By Design at 954-900-1098 to speak to a knowledgeable representative and get rapid repairs in Oakland Park, FL.