Once upon a time, you were sitting in your house and suddenly you realize how cold it is. You look at your thermostat and then realize the terrible truth: your furnace is out. The panic sets in, what are you going to do? You’re relaxing Saturday night just became a live action version of Disney’s Frozen.
Hopefully you’ve never had this situation happen. It is a harrowing situation especially in the middle of the winter when it feels colder than old man winter’s heart outside. So what do you do? Its late. Call a plumbing and heating company perhaps? Pay the massive after hours fee to have someone take a look? You are cold after all and your cat’s sweater is in the laundry.
No. First, there are a few things you can check yourself before you make that call and pay that after-hours charge.
1. The very first thing to check is your filter. Yes the filter. The one thing you keep telling yourself that you will change the next time you see the furnace. It is pretty dirty, isn’t it? Don’t worry I’m not judging, I always forget about my filter. Furnace filters keep dust from getting on your motor, fan, and control board. They allow air to move through your furnace which passes over the heat exchanger and provides heat to your home. If the filter is too dirty air cannot flow through which causes your electronic components to overheat which may set off safety switches and cause the furnace to shut down. We recommend buying the cheap filters and change them out once a month. The expensive high density filters can choke off the air supply to the furnace as well, so avoid them.
2. So, you have replaced or removed the filter, now what? Try your thermostat. Many thermostats contain batteries. If the batteries have died the signal to call for heat from the furnace is gone. Changing your thermostat batteries once a year will help avoid this problem.
3. Finally, if you are still having issues find the power switch to your furnace and turn it off, wait ten seconds, and turn it back on again. Some furnaces have a lock out mode. If they try to fire more than a set period of times and cannot complete the process they will lock out their gas supply. This is a safety feature to stop carbon monoxide from spilling into your home. Turning the power supply off to the furnace will reset the control board clearing any lockouts or error codes.
With any luck, any or all three of these steps has got your furnace up and running again! If not, I am sorry to say that call to a plumbing and heating company might be unavoidable. As always, we recommend that call be to Firefly Plumbing.