Heating and Cooling, Furnace Repair Tips

Since winter is setting in on the DuPage area, it’s important to be sure your home heating furnace is operational.  It is highly recommended that a heating and cooling technician service and clean your furnace once each year, but realistically, few people do this.  In fact, many people have a hard enough time remembering to replace the furnace filter on a regular-basis.  It usually only takes one cold night without heat to help us remember the important role the furnace plays in our home.

A broken furnace can not only leave you and your family cold, but it can also cause your home’s pipes to freeze.  If you think the heat going out is a pain, it won’t even compare to a burst water pipe in your home.  That being said, properly maintaining your furnace is something you should sincerely consider doing.

What to do when the heat goes out?

During standard business hours, calling a furnace repair or heating and cooling technician out to your home is expensive.  After-hours and weekend repairs can be silly-expensive.  So, before calling out a furnace repairman, there are some things you’ll want to troubleshoot for yourself first.  Here are some heating / furnace troubleshooting checks to do before making that call:

  • Be sure your thermostat is switched to on and is properly set at the correct temperature (sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised).
  • Be sure the power switch for the furnace itself is switched to ‘ON’.
  • Be sure that the front access panels on the furnace itself are on and properly closed (some units will not function if the furnace panels are not properly closed).
  • Check the furnace filter – is it clogged with dust?
  • Is the gas valve to the furnace shut off?

If you have tried these quick checks and still have no heat, it’s probably time to call a heating and cooling expert.  It is not recommended that you open up your furnace and take a peek inside unless you are absolutely sure of what you are doing.  Even then, it’s probably not a good idea – call a heating and cooling repair company.

Knowing the answers to the following questions may help the technician when you call for service…

  • Do you hear the furnace starting up?  (Once started, you will usually hear the flames fire-up, then the sound of the blower motor starting.)
  • Do you hear a ticking sound but no ‘whoosh’ of the flames igniting?

If you ever smell natural gas or hear the hissing of gas coming from your furnace or nearby supply lines, get out of your home (leave a door or window open if you can) and call your natural gas company.  Also, if you ever suspect that there may be a cabon monoxide leak in your home do to a faulty furnace, get out of your home and seek assistance.  Both of these situations are very serious and could potentially be deadly. 

Stay warm!