Furnace Problems: Know When to do DIY Fixes or Call a Repair Person

of 1

You probably don’t spend much time thinking about your furnace most days, but it will be the first thing on your mind if you wake up to a freezing cold home on a chilly winter morning. We depend on our furnaces a lot, and while modern systems are quite reliable, nothing is made to last forever, and breakdowns can – and do – occur. Your furnace is a complex system made up of numerous components, any of which could potentially go bad. Without the proper training, trying to fix a broken down furnace on your own can be next to impossible, and if you have a gas furnace, doing so can be extremely dangerous. No one wants to call a professional for furnace repair, but knowing when you should make that call and what to expect can save you a lot of frustration.

Signs You Need Furnace Repair

Let’s face it; a lot of us don’t know our furnaces need repairs until they break down. While that’s a surefire sign that it’s time to call in a professional, there are usually several signs that you need furnace repair that develop before the system fails. Pay attention to what your furnace sounds like. If it’s been getting louder and louder or you’ve noticed a banging noise, you could have a problem like a damaged belt or an ignition issue. Having trouble staying warm? Constantly bumping up the thermostat? You could have a problem with your thermostat, or your furnace may be struggling to keep up. Pay attention to your furnace’s cycle. When functioning properly, it should cycle on and off to maintain the temperature. If yours seems to kick back on as soon as it turns off, you might have a problem. Pay attention to your energy bills, too. If your gas or electric bill has suddenly spike or is gradually creeping higher and higher, a struggling furnace could be to blame.  


While many furnace repair projects should be left to the professionals, there are some minor problems you can fix yourself. Before you call for help, try these furnace troubleshooting tips:
  1. Make sure the thermostat is set to “heat.”
  2. Replace your furnace filter.
  3. Ensure that your furnace is getting power by making sure all switches are turned on.
  4. Check the breaker panel to make sure the circuit is turned on.
  5. If you have an older furnace with a pilot light, make sure it’s lit.
  6. If you have a gas valve, check to make sure it didn’t accidentally get turned off.
If you’ve checked everything listed above and your furnace still isn’t working, it’s best to consult with a professional HVAC repair company. Also, if you have a gas furnace and smell natural gas, vacate the premises and call for help immediately.

What to Expect When Having Your Furnace Repaired

When you need to have your furnace professionally repaired, look for a reputable HVAC repair company in your area. If your furnace is under warranty, check with the manufacturer to find an authorized repairman in your area. If you’re facing an emergency like a gas leak or a furnace that has stopped working in sub-zero temperatures, a technician may be dispatched immediately. Many repair companies offer 24-hour service for such emergency situations. When your technician arrives, he will ask you to explain the problem you’re having, and he may also to see your furnace’s paperwork, including the manual and original purchase receipt, if available. This information can help your HVAC technician better understand your system and its age and reach a prompt diagnosis. Most repairs can be performed in a single day, but if you need to have a major component or the entire system replaced, you may need to schedule a second appointment. HVAC technicians are highly trained and skilled professionals who strive to perform repairs as quickly as possible, and most are willing to work with their customers to determine the best solution to their heating problems. Whether your furnace is broken down or you’ve noticed some signs that a breakdown could be imminent, it’s a good idea to contact an HVAC repair company as quickly as possible. When left uncorrected, minor heating problems can eventually lead to total system failure. The sooner you have the problem fixed, the less you’ll likely spend on your repair bill.