Ever heard the saying, you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone? If you find yourself without a functioning heating unit on a bitterly cold winter day this year, you’ll deeply understand the truth of that old adage.

While no one ever really assumes their furnace will malfunction in the middle of winter, the reality is that it can happen at any time. And if it’s going to happen, Murphy’s Law says it’ll happen when you need your furnace most.

Luckily, you can still keep yourself warm if your heating system gets finicky when it’s cold outdoors. Read on to learn all about what you should do if your furnace breaks down in winter.

Troubleshoot Your Furnace in 6 Steps

If your furnace isn’t doing its job the way it normally does, here’s what you can do to try and diagnose the problem:

1.      Check the power. Take a look at your breaker box to make sure the furnace’s dedicated circuit didn’t flip the breaker. This is a common cause of what seems like a breakdown, but it’s easily fixable.

2.      Test your thermostat. Is your thermostat set to heat? If so, set it five degrees warmer than its current setting. If you don’t hear the furnace turn on immediately, the thermostat may be the problem.

3.      Examine the furnace. Take a look at your unit to make sure the pilot light is on, the shut-off switch isn’t flipped, and the blower motor cover is secure.

4.      Check your air filter. Do remember the last time you changed your HVAC filter? If it’s filthy, it could be affecting your furnace’s performance (check out how to improve your furnace efficiency).

5.      Check your vents. Make sure all of the vents in your home are open. If any are closed, they can cause uneven heating and force the system to work unnecessarily hard.

6.      Take a whiff. Do you smell a gas-like odor? If so, you have a leak and should leave your house right away. Turn off the gas at the supply valve and call a furnace repair pro immediately.

Want to get the most of your heating system? Check out our top tips for extending the life of your furnace.

Call a Furnace Repair Specialist

If your heating system malfunctions and DIY troubleshooting doesn’t help, call a pro to schedule a furnace inspection and repairs. Whether your furnace is blowing lukewarm air, heating your house unevenly, or blowing ice cold air, a furnace repair expert can fix the issue.

Keep in mind, though, that in the Twin Cities area, furnace service and repair companies can be super busy throughout the winter season. You may not be able to have your unit serviced for several hours or, in an unfortunate scenario, an entire day. If you end up having to wait a bit, you’ll need to take measures to keep yourself warm.

Keep Warm While You Wait

If you can’t schedule emergency furnace repairs, placing a few space heaters around your house is the simplest thing you can do to stay warm while you wait. Just make sure you unplug heaters when you aren’t paying attention to them and place them far away from any upholstered items or things that can melt.

Of course, if you have a backup wood stove that you keep well-maintained, you can use that, too. But if you have a fireplace or stove that hasn’t been properly cleaned and serviced in years, don’t use it in a pinch. It could put your house at risk for a fire.

Need Furnace Repairs in the Twin Cities?

If your furnace is due for routine cleaning and service or you need to schedule furnace repairs this winter, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Dust Doctors for help! To get started, call our Little Canada office at 651-319-9777 or request a free service quote online, and we’ll get in touch.

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