A furnace going out during the winter is a dangerous thing, especially if your house isn’t well insulated with anything but a single layer of sheetrock. If you have any drafts in areas in your home or poorly insulated windows, a malfunctioning furnace can quickly lead to a vent pipe blowing warm air into the atmosphere and cold air descending in through the cracks and crevices. This, of course, is bad for you.
To prevent this from happening, it’s important that you perform some maintenance before the first hint of winter arrives. Most furnaces will require a small amount of preventative maintenance to ensure it runs well through the roughest parts of the season.
This post aims to inform you of the sort of things you need to do if your furnace does go out in the cold. But first, here are some signs that may warn you before your furnace breaks down.
Warning Signs Your Furnace Might Go Out
Metallic or Scraping Sounds
If your furnace is operating and making metallic sounds, it’s a sign that something isn’t working right. This could mean there’s a blockage in the vent pipe somewhere and you should immediately turn off the unit and call our HVAC professionals at DeZiel Heating & AC to come to fix it.
This is a sign of the furnace’s air filter not doing its job. When your unit is running and producing dry air, this means you need to replace or clean your air filters as soon as you can.
High Electricity Bills
Although we don’t think about it on a day-to-day basis, some furnaces are using electricity every time they’re running. If you notice your electricity bills are suddenly higher than they were in the past, it’s time to see if this is due to an increased usage of an appliance or whether there might be something wrong with the unit itself.
A Strange Smell
When your furnace is on but producing a strange smell, this is a sign that the unit is overheating. If you’ve noticed this, turn your furnace off right away to avoid any damage. Then contact us as soon as you can.
Absence of Fan Noise
You should be hearing the fan of your furnace working hard. If you don’t hear it blowing air, there’s probably an issue with your furnace blower, which can lead to other damage in the furnace’s internal mechanics.
This is a big one that everyone should look out for. There could be several reasons for this but the most common is that the pilot light has gone out. If you’ve noticed this, it’s important to turn off your unit immediately and call for repairs. Not doing so can result in carbon monoxide poisoning which can kill you if you don’t know what it is.
Inconsistent Temperature Throughout The House
If your furnace is working but it doesn’t seem to be heating the entire house uniformly, there might be a draft. This leads back to issues with the ducts which need to be cleaned and inspected for any problems, such as loose vents or cracks in the sheetrock where air can flow through.
How to Stay Safe And Warm Without Your Furnace
Should You Stay Home?
If you’re not sure if it’s safe to stay in your home without getting out and asking for help, the most obvious answer is no. If there is a strong smell of gas or if you see anything that looks like smoke or sparks near where the gas pipe enters your home, get out immediately.
It’s important that you have some sort of backup plan in case your furnace does go out. There are a number of different space heaters and furnaces available for purchase which will allow you to stay warm if you’re stuck without heat. Space heaters come in many shapes and sizes, using electric, propane or kerosene so you should be able to find one that fits your comfort level.
Keep The Pipes Warm
When your furnace is broken, a frozen pipe can spell a lot of trouble. If you see the temperature in the home dropping and there’s a chance it might get colder overnight or during the day while you’re not around to keep an eye on it, be sure to leave on some sort of heating source so that water won’t freeze in the pipes.
Keep the doors open
If you don’t have a good heating system to rely on, it’s important that you keep all of your home’s doors open. This way, the warm air from the rest of the house can still flow through and make it to those areas that might otherwise be too cold without a strong heat source.
What to Do if You Suspect a Furnace Breakdown is Imminent
If you’re worried that your furnace might be in danger of a complete breakdown, there are a few things you can do in order to keep it running for as long as possible until assistance can arrive.
Be Sure The Thermostat is Set at The Lowest Temperature
Although this seems counterintuitive, lowering the temperature on your thermostat will keep your furnace from shutting down.
Do Not Turn The Furnace Off
Turning your heating system completely off will cause it to lose all of its current information, along with any memory of how you like things set within your home. If something happens to the unit, this will make it more difficult for a technician to come in and fix your furnace.
Do Not Take Off The Access Panel
Although it might be tempting to get at things yourself, this can result in serious injury. The furnace is a complex system and if you don’t know what you’re doing, there is a possibility that you could electrocute yourself.
Get In Touch With Our Team For Top-Tier Furnace Maintenance
DeZiel Heating and AC is always available to check out your business or home’s HVAC system for any problems that might occur. Our technicians can provide you with a number of services to get your heating and cooling system running like new again. We provide comprehensive maintenance checks which will allow us to find any problems before they become serious. Contact us today at 763-684-3965 for a free estimate.