March 24, 2015

Furnace Got You Hot And Bothered? What To Check For Before Scheduling Repair

You go in for an oil change, and a couple days later your good friend offers to do it. You finish a ten-page paper only to realize you wrote it on the wrong topic. You call for a furnace repair service and they “repair” your system with the flip of a switch.
Everyone has the same reaction when they realize they’ve spent unnecessary time or money. You kick yourself. You ask yourself “wasn’t there anything I could have done to avoid that?” Most times, the best thing you could have done was remember the phrase “haste makes waste,” and think before acting.
Next time your furnace is acting up, don’t immediately call for HVAC service. Slow down and look into some other possibilities before making that final call.

Check The Emergency Switch

It looks exactly like a light switch, and it’s usually located at the top of your staircase— your emergency switch may have been mistaken for your basement light. It happens all the time, especially in homes with children. If your furnace shuts off all of a sudden, check your breaker before jumping to any conclusions about a break down. There is a 50% chance that it was just an accidental flip of the switch.

Check The Thermostat Batteries

If the batteries in your home thermostat are not working, you pretty much lose control of your furnace. When adjustments cannot be made, your furnace continues at the same power unless it is unplugged. You need to keep your home heated, but the sun has come out and you no longer need your furnace working at max power. If your thermostat isn’t working, you’re unable to turn the heat down.
If you keep hitting the “down” arrow on your thermostat, but the temperature refuses to drop, ignore the first conclusion you draw. There is a chance that your furnace is not broken. Check the batteries in your thermostat before you make the call for HVAC service.

Gas/Water Leaks

Your furnace issues are sometimes as simple as a flipped switch or dead battery, but there are times you need professionals. If you smell gas or spot water below your furnace, a leak is usually the only explanation, and the remedy for that is out of homeowner hands.
If your furnace encounters a leak, call a professional HVAC service immediately. A gas leak is potentially fatal and a water leak usually indicates a system glitch. Here’s how to pick up on either of these issues.

Gas Leak
Is there a strong gas odor?

If your answer to this question is yes, open windows and do not turn on any other appliance and give your HVAC service a call and have them check it out. If it’s not a leak, at least you’ll have professional safety clearance.

Water Leak
Is there a pool of water at the base of your furnace?

A water leak seems simple enough to spot, but make sure the collection of water isn’t from anything else first. Is there a nearby humidifier? A water leak isn’t nearly as dangerous as a gas leak, but it can still cause damage and should be looked at professionally.

Sometimes your furnace issues don’t require expensive repair. Sometimes all that’s required is a closer look. Don’t pay for a service technician to come and switch your power on.

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