What to Do After Your Furnace Goes Out

October 19, 2023
Heating services

A chilly winter evening can turn into a nightmare when your trusty furnace decides to go on strike. The last thing you want is that biting cold creeping into your cozy space. But there’s no need to panic. At Vastola Heating & Cooling, we’ve got some helpful suggestions for you when your furnace goes on the fritz.

1. Check the Thermostat

Anytime you notice that your furnace is not putting out heat, the first thing to check is the thermostat. It may be that the settings are wrong or that the battery has gone dead and that is why it is not working properly. Many times, all that is needed is to rest the thermostat or change out the batteries.

2. Inspect the Circuit Breaker

If adjusting the thermostat doesn’t solve the problem, the next step is to look at the circuit breaker. When a circuit overloads, it will trip the breaker. If that happens it can cause your furnace to stop working. Go to your electrical panel and locate the circuit breaker related to your furnace. If it’s in the Off position, it has tripped; just reset it to On.

3. Change the Air Filter

A dirty air filter restricts airflow and causes issues with your heating system. That extra strain can end up causing a breakdown or making your heating system about as efficient as a leaky bucket. The good news is, if you swap out or give your filter a good cleaning on the regular, you can nip this issue in the bud. Changing your air filters every one to three months can help prevent dirt and debris from choking your system.

4. Make Sure You Have Fuel (Gas)

If your furnace runs on natural gas, ensure that the gas supply is on and that there are no gas leaks. If you smell gas, do not attempt to investigate further. Immediately turn off the gas supply and contact a professional to address the issue. Gas leaks can be extremely dangerous and require expert handling.

If you have a furnace that runs on propane, be sure to check the level of fuel in your tank. If you run out of fuel, that is a definite cause of your furnace not working. Most companies will not deliver on short notice or for less than a full tank, so remember to place your refuel order before the tank gets too low.

5. Restart the Furnace

In some cases, simply turning the furnace off for a few minutes and then turning it back on can resolve minor glitches. It’s like giving your furnace a little power nap, and it might just wake up running like a charm again. Just remember to stick to the manufacturer’s instructions, when you’re restarting, because each furnace can have its unique quirks.

6. Look for Obstructions

If the vents and ducts are blocked by furniture, curtains, or other obstructions, it can make your furnace work harder because it restricts the airflow. Make sure these areas have a clear, unobstructed path to allow the warm air to flow out. You can also inspect your ductwork for signs of visible damage or disconnections, as these issues can also cause inconsistent heating.

When to Call a Professional

If you’ve gone through these quick fixes and still have no luck, it’s time to call in the professionals. You’ve done all that you can do on your own. It’s best to let a professional technician take it from here.

If you smell gas, as mentioned earlier, turn off the gas supply and contact a professional immediately. Gas-related issues are potentially hazardous and should never be taken lightly. If the problem remains unresolved after trying the quick fixes, it’s time to reach out to a licensed HVAC technician. They have the expertise and tools to diagnose and repair complex issues.

Regular professional maintenance can help prevent unexpected breakdowns. Consider scheduling an annual furnace inspection and cleaning with a local HVAC company like Vastola Heating & Cooling. We’ve been in business since 1946, and we strive to offer our customers the best service at affordable prices. Vastola Heating & Cooling offers heating, cooling, ductwork, generator, indoor air quality, and water heater services to meet your home comfort needs in Orchard Park, NY. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!