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What to Do in a Furnace Failure Emergency

dog-under-blanketThe recent intense cold that tore through New Jersey probably has made a lot of homeowners evaluate their heating systems. What if those heating systems had broken during an intense chill?

It’s definitely good to think about potential emergency situations like this, since people are more likely to arrange for regular heating maintenance before the winter starts and pay attention to signs it’s time either to repair the heater or have a new heater installed.

But nothing can stop all heating system disasters. We have tips on what you can do in case your home’s furnace stops working abruptly.

Don’t panic—look for a simple reason for the system failure

Your first instinct may be to grab the phone and put in a call to a local, dependable heating company. You may need to do that soon, but we recommend making a few checks to see if there isn’t a simple reason the furnace stopped working:

  • Make sure the house has power. You might not notice a full power loss during the day.
  • Open up the electrical panel to see if a circuit breaker has tripped. This could be the circuit breaker to the furnace. (Yes, a gas furnace also needs electricity to run!)
  • See if the thermostat is set correctly. Somebody may have adjusted it without you knowing about it.
  • For a gas furnace that uses a standing pilot light, look to see if the light has gone out. Try to relight it. If it won’t stay lit, check on the gas line. It may have become shut or jammed. If this isn’t the problem, you’ll need to call for repairs.
  • Pull out the furnace filter to check if it’s clogged up. If it is, put in a new filter and see if this solves the problem.

Now you can call for the professionals

You’ve eliminated simple possibilities, so it looks like you’ll need an HVAC professional to investigate what went wrong. Please don’t try to make any fixes to the furnace yourself! This is potentially dangerous, both for a gas and electric furnace. With an electric furnace, it’s probably illegal.

Shut off the gas to the furnace

If you have a gas furnace, turn off the gas line that goes to the heater. This will help avoid any potential troubles from gas leaks.

Find ways to keep warm until then

If you can send away the rest of the family to a neighbor’s house while you wait for the heating technicians to arrive, this is the best way to keep them warm and safe. Otherwise, move to a central room or stay in rooms where direct sunlight is striking the windows. Open up all the windows to allow in sunlight. Use blankets and any space heaters you have. If you have a fireplace, now is a great time to put it into use. You can also gather in the kitchen, turn on the oven, and open it.

You can trust our experts for furnace repair in Medford, NJ. We offer personalized service and attention you won’t find at larger HVAC companies. We care about your family’s health and comfort.

Call us when you have a failed furnace—we’ll fix it! Gibson Heating & Cooling serves Burlington, Camden Counties, NJ and Bucks County, PA.

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