We often take our warm home for granted, until one day we notice the house is cold and the furnace doesn’t seem to be working. Fortunately, many furnace issues can be easily fixed and don’t require a new furnace or expensive repair. Remember, Ernst Heating & Cooling is here to turn the heat back on and we even offer 24/7 emergency service.
Nobody wants to think about their furnace going out, but it’s best to have a plan in place before you lose heat during the cold winter months. Here’s what we recommend when your furnace suddenly isn’t doing its job.
Is this thing on?
The simple fix can be as easy as flipping a switch. Occasionally the furnace gets inadvertently turned off, and they usually have a wall switch that turns them back on. Make sure the control is on and give your furnace a few minutes to “get the message.” Also, if you have a gas furnace, make sure to turn on the gas valve.
Wall thermostats can also be turned off, whether you’re enjoying unseasonably warm weather or someone has accidentally knocked the switch to the off position. Test the thermostat by setting the temperature about five degrees higher than the current air temperature. If the furnace doesn’t kick in, you may simply need to replace the batteries in the thermostat.
Finally, check your circuit breakers; sometimes, a furnace can trip the circuit breaker, especially if your air filter is clogged and dirty.
If you smell gas, get out!
You’ve probably heard that natural gas is odorless. Fortunately, a compound called “mercaptan” is added to help homeowners detect leaks. If you smell what seems to be rotten eggs or sulfur, don’t try to be a hero. Take your family and pets out of the home immediately and stay away from the house until an Ernst professional arrives and checks things out.
Check the air ducts
Sometimes only one room seems to be cut off from the heat. Grab a flashlight and make sure the dampers that control airflow are completely open. Also, make sure your furniture and drapery aren’t blocking vents.
Keep warm in the meantime
If the above tips don’t work, call Ernst so we can check things out. In the meantime, use these tips to stay warm while you wait:
- It’s a slumber party! Gather the family to a favorite room and seal it off. Tuck a towel under the door and hang a sheet up to add another layer of insulation.
- Huddle around the stove. No, the oven is never meant to be a heating device. But if you’re already planning to cook a nice stew or a batch of chocolate chip cookies, the oven may add enough warmth to keep everyone comfortable. Plus, you’ll have cookies and stew. Win-win!
- Dress warmly. Your mother wasn’t kidding when she told you to put on an extra sweater. Pull out the long underwear and the extra set of socks too. Don’t forget to wear a hat for added warmth.
- Consider a space heater, electric blanket, or heating pad. Space heaters may do the trick, especially if you’re huddled in a small space. But remember, never leave a space heater unattended!
A faulty furnace is one of the worst wake-up calls. Remember, you can call Ernst Heating & Cooling anytime day or night at 618.217.1836 to handle the emergency. Also, regular maintenance plans can ensure your furnace stays in working order. We’ll be here for you when you need us!