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Furnace Breakdowns

By January 18, 2016 Heating, Uncategorized
Furnace breakdowns in bitter cold - see Arctic Insulation, Marion, IA

If you’ve experience furnace breakdowns in the middle of winter or during a bad cold snap, you’re not alone. In fact, that’s exactly when a number of breakdowns occur – when you need heat the most.

Some of these emergencies can be avoided with routine maintenance before you need to really use the furnace. For practical purposes, we’ll try not to say, I told you so.” Instead, here are some things to check before you called the furnace maintenance people.

What to Do If Your Furnace Isn’t Working Properly

Some tips are things you can do before calling for help, but some of these, like the first one, relate to your personal safety and they are must dos for your own safety.

If you smell natural gas near your furnace or anywhere in your home, leave immediately. Go to a neighbor’s home or to a friend’s. You need to be safe before you call for help. If you hear a hissing sound, that’s reason to move even more quickly. Do not turn on or off any lights as that can cause a spark that ignites gas. The same goes for using a cell phone or starting your car.

Tips for Homeowners

If you don’t smell natural gas and the furnace is blowing out cool air, here are some things to check:

  • If you don’t smell natural gas, try resetting the furnace by turning off the power to the furnace for 3-minutes. This starts the furnace from the beginning of the call for heat and erases any trouble codes or lock-out situations. It puts you at the first step for the search for the furnace problem.
  • Next, check the furnace filter. If it’s dirty, change it. A dirty filter can reduce the amount of hot air being blow out to warm the house.
  • Double-check your thermostat. Replace the batteries and clean out dust. It sounds silly, but make sure it’s on heat and on automatic.
  • Check to see if the ignition system or pilot light are working. Without that, the furnace can’t heat.
  • If you have a newer, high efficiency furnace, you also have condensate drain lines that remove water that’s created during the heating process. If the lines clog, that can prevent the furnace burners from working.

Call the Experts

In the end, most of need to call a repair person to get to the bottom of furnace issues like not heating the home on a cold, winter’s day. Arctic Insulation services all types of furnaces and home heating systems. If your furnace isn’t working the way it should, call us at 319-261-1000. And then, make sure you call us for important routine maintenance before you actually need your furnace.