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What to Do When Your Furnace Goes Out in the Winter
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/ Categories: Furnace, HVAC, Heating

What to Do When Your Furnace Goes Out in the Winter

No heat in Minnesota essentially means no life—so when your furnace goes out, you know you must act immediately. The first order of business is to call for emergency furnace repair services; the pros will rush to your property to get your heating system working again and get your family's day-to-day routine back on track.

But until then, what can you do to keep your home warm and family safe? Furnace Doctors, your Twin Cities provider of furnace services, has all the answers and more below.

What Causes the Furnace to Go Out?

Wear and tear happens, and components can go out through use, or the unit may have some underlying issues that need to be addressed; the most common reasons for shutdowns include:

Thermostat Issues

If your furnace continuously shuts off, most commonly, your thermostat will be the culprit. Whether you're dealing with no heat, frequent cycling, or even huge temperature swings, check your thermostat first. If it's set to auto, it should be cycling on and off as usual, but if it's working sporadically, even with the right setting, we recommend calling an expert.

Dirty Flame Sensor

The flame sensor makes sure that there is a flame in place to light the heating unit, so if there's no detection, the furnace will shut off as a safety precaution. The sensor can get dirty and unable to detect the flames, so watch as your furnace starts up; if it turns off quickly, there's a good chance you need to call a professional to clean the sensor.

Lack of Airflow

Restricted airflow can also affect the system's ability to run properly, so if it's been a while since your air filters were changed, look and see if it's time to replace them. Closed air vents can also cause restrictions and end up starving the furnace of airflow, so be sure to open all vents.

Dirty Condensate Pipe

For those with high-efficiency units, this will create liquid condensate, and if the pipe gets clogged, it will shut the furnace off as a safety precaution. The drain line may need to be cleaned out, and while it can be done by hand, the process could require more advanced techniques and tools, so it's never recommended to DIY this task without the right training.

Make Sure the Furnace Is Really Out

If you've been investing in a seasonal HVAC maintenance plan and/or regular furnace maintenance, the issue you're facing could be benign. Before calling for emergency services, you'd be wise to check that your furnace hasn't gone out thanks to human error.

For example, did something blow a fuse in your home? Is the furnace actually turned on? Is the thermostat on the correct setting—and does it work in the first place?

It's critical to remain calm during this process, as you can easily skip over important details in a panic. Take comfort in knowing that if you've been caring for your furnace, it's rare that it'd cease to function out of the blue.

Hunker Down

Your home's temperature probably won't plunge dramatically if emergency services are prompt, but it never hurts to take steps to keep yourself warm, especially with Minnesotan weather being as moody as it is. Extra layers of loose-fitting clothing help you retain body heat.

When used responsibly, electric heaters can do in a pinch to heat an isolated space. Be careful that they don't become a fire danger – learn from The Red Cross how to be safe with space heaters.

Finally, keeping a single room warm in an emergency is much easier than a full house, so we recommend gathering the family in a single space until help arrives.

Work With Windows & Drafts

If the sunlight is warm enough to provide benefits, consider opening your blinds during the day. Not only will it make a bleak situation look a little cheerier, but it also can provide your home with variable heat.

On the contrary, if your home is known to be drafty, keep the blinds closed and block out air leaks with rolled-up towels.

Call an HVAC Professional

Understanding the equipment in your home is critical because it can help you spot signs of an underlying issue. However, when it comes to repair, we never recommend DIY unless you have the proper training because the furnaces have complex gas and electrical systems. It can become a safety issue and potentially void your warranty if not completed properly.

Our professional inspection will determine if your unit needs repair or replacement and lay out your options so you understand all the steps and pricing involved.

Furnace Doctors: Ready When Furnace Trouble Happens in MN

With over 40 years of experience serving our community in the Twin Cities, our repair, maintenance, and installation services are a trusted solution for our customers. We always offer satisfaction guarantees, and when your furnace is in our capable hands, you can rest easy knowing it'll be running again in a jiffy.

If you need to schedule an appointment or have any questions, message us online or call our office now at 651-789-3082.

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