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What to Do When Your Furnace Dies on You

cold-sweater-manWe honestly hope you haven’t landed on this blog page because you have a dead furnace right in the middle of winter. We never want this to happen to any of our customers … and it’s part of our job to fix furnaces! We would rather help people prevent furnace problems with our services, such as through our energy savings agreement or with targeted furnace repairs that fix problems before they cause a shutdown.

But not all furnace problems can be identified in time to stop a complete breakdown. We have the advice to help you through this situation—so although we’re sorry you had to come to this page, we’re glad you’re here to get the assistance you need.

First, make a safety check

If you use a gas furnace (most homes do), you want to be sure the furnace isn’t leaking natural gas. Although natural gas has no odor, manufacturers add a sulfuric compound to the gas to give it a distinct stench like rotten eggs so people can detect when it leaks. If you notice this smell in your house when the furnace breaks down, leave immediately and contact the gas company. Later you can worry about calling an HVAC company for repairs or a replacement.

Second, see if there’s a simple error behind the problem

The furnace may have stopped working because of a mistake with the thermostat settings or a tripped circuit breaker. (Yes, gas furnaces require electrical power to run as well!) Reset any tripped breakers and adjust the thermostat to see if the furnace will come back on. If these don’t work, you’re at the stage where you need to call on a professional technician to look deeper into the failed furnace. Further tinkering risks damaged to the furnace—or to you!

Three, find ways to stay warm

You’ve called on HVAC professionals for heating repairs (you can reach us 24/7) and now you have to wait for them to arrive. Staying warm is the priority, and it’s easier to do than you may think. Do you have a wood-burning fireplace? Now it’s no longer decorative, but functional. Turning on the oven and opening it up is another good strategy for quick warmth. You can also use space heaters, which we recommend keeping for emergencies. Put on an extra layer of clothing to help out.

Four, be cautious of pipe freeze

The pipes in your house need to stay warm as well, or else they’ll freeze over and lead to pipes bursting. If you are using space heaters, put one next to the exposed water line to keep it warm. Do not use acetylene torches or hair dryers for this job, however. If you don’t have any space heaters for the pipes, wrap them up in newspaper for insulation.

Now sit tight, keep close to heat sources, and we’ll be there soon to fix the furnace. Remember, don’t try to meddle with the broken furnace yourself! We are the experts in HVAC for Salem, OR and the rest of the state who can rescue (or replace) an ailing furnace quickly and safely.

Comfort Flow Heating serves all of Oregon. We have 24-hour service for any furnace emergency.

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