It's not exactly a nightmare scenario, but it’s no one’s favorite thing, either. Winter has arrived, the temperatures have plummeted, snow and ice have been falling, and just when you think you’re snuggled in for a cozy night at home, the furnace stops working!
Like we said, this is no one’s favorite scenario, but these things do happen, and there’s no need to panic. Your furnace, just like every other major appliance, requires maintenance and service, and it generally has a 15- to 20-year lifespan. In other words, if you live in your home long enough, sooner or later you’ll need a furnace repair or even replacement. Fortunately, most things can be fixed quickly so that you and your family can be comfortable again.
You can do a few things to help yourself out when you furnace stops working. Read on to learn how to keep yourself in good shape until a furnace repair person can get things humming along once more.
Here’s what you can check yourself if the furnace stops working:
1. Obviously, trying to fix a broken furnace or any other part of your home’s HVAC system is a job best left to trained professionals. Your first order of business when the furnace stops working is to call a furnace repair specialist such as Davenport Service Company. Before you make that call, however, you can check on a few things.
2. Check your thermostat. Like any other device, a thermostat isn’t infallible. It’s possible that it has lost its programming or it has simply reset somehow. It may not even be on “heat” anymore. Check its setting and then adjust it to about 10 degrees hotter than the current temperature in the house and see if the furnace kicks on. If it does, problem solved! If not, it’s time to move on to step 3!
3. Make sure the power is on. Like any other appliance, your furnace requires energy to run, and it’s possible that it has gotten switched off somehow or that the breaker has been tripped. You can start by checking the circuit breaker or fuse box. If everything looks okay there, check near the furnace for a switch that will probably look like an ordinary light switch. This is what turns the furnace off and on. Check that it’s flipped on. If it is, you can move along.
4. Check your air filter. This is something you should be doing regularly, anyway, and if you are, then there’s probably not a problem here. But if you’ve been neglecting your furnace, it’s possible that the air filter has gotten so clogged that the furnace can no longer pull air through it. If it is what has happened, changing the air filter might solve your problem.
5. If you have a gas furnace, you can check the pilot light. Many modern furnaces have a safety feature that prevents them from turning on if the pilot light is out. Why? Because otherwise they might pump dangerous gas into your home. In most cases, if the pilot light is off, you can find simple instructions for how to restart it printed somewhere nearby.
When in doubt, or if any of these things don’t do the trick, it’s time to call the pros at Davenport Service Company. Fortunately, you can reach us anytime, day or night, by calling 913-441-2222 to either speak with a technician or leave a message for us to return your call. If your furnace goes out, the sooner you call, the sooner you’ll be back up and running! But what do you do in the meantime?
Here's what you can do to stay warm until the furnace repair pros arrive:
1. If you have any other sources of heat, such as a gas or wood-burning fireplace, this is its time to shine. Small space heaters can also come in handy while you’re waiting for the furnace to come back on. However, always use any of these secondary heat sources with care, and only use them while you’re there to monitor them. Never use the stove or oven to heat the house. Not only is it inefficient, it’s also a fire hazard waiting to happen.
2. Dress warmly and pile on the blankets. Most of us have plenty of blankets, sweaters, or thick fuzzy socks to help us keep warm. Bundle up until the furnace repair technicians arrive.
3. You’ll also want to keep the heat that’s already in the house from escaping. This means reducing the amount of traffic that goes in and out of the house. Every time a door to the outside opens and closes, it’s letting in cold air and letting out heat. But that’s just for starters. You can use towels or blankets to insulate drafty doors or windows, and you’ll also want to keep doors closed to rooms that you’re not immediately using. If the furnace goes out in the middle of the night, bring everybody into one room for a “slumber party” to conserve heat.
4. Most of the time, your house will retain enough warmth to prevent your pipes from freezing for at least a day or so. However, you can do things to help, such as opening the cabinet doors under your sinks to help the warm air in the house reach the pipes. If you’re without heat for more than a day, you’ll start to run the risk of frozen pipes, which means…
5. Call the furnace repair pros right away. We know we already said this, but it bears repeating. The sooner you call, the sooner the Olathe heating and cooling professionals at Davenport Service Company can be at your door to get your furnace back up and running so that your home and family are warm.
If your furnace has stopped working or if you’re just in need of a tune-up or some routine maintenance, call Davenport Service Company at 913-441-2222 today! We’ll be there in a jiffy!