You love the holidays and wholeheartedly agree that it is truly the most wonderful time of the year. Every December, you take time off work between Christmas Eve and New Years and head out of town to Grandma’s house to gather with family, enjoy hearty home-cooked meals, open gifts and walk and ski in the snowy woods. You spend late nights around the fire and enjoy mulled cider and hot toddy while you play games, tell stories, share laughs and log long hours making many great memories and reminiscing about Christmases of yesteryear.
There’s truly nothing like it.
New Year’s Day evening you arrive back home. The week was wonderful but you’re excited to settle in and get back into your routine. Tomorrow you will turn the page on another year and begin tackling your 2020 goals. You’re refreshed and ready.
Coming Home to a Cold House
You open the door and step inside. The first thing you notice is the musty, pent-up smell – to be expected after a week away. You close the door behind you and take a few more steps inside. And it’s freezing. Not just “I-set-the-thermostat-to-62-degrees-while-I-was-away” cold but “Holy-moly-the-furnace-quit-working” cold. You panic. What exactly happened?! Can it be fixed?! What should you do?!
Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Here are 8 key things to check if you come home to a cold house. We’d recommend making a copy of this and posting it on the wall near your furnace in case you need it down the road!
8 Furnace Troubleshooting Tips
- Is the thermostat on? Ok, this might seem basic but it’s not an uncommon scenario. Many people who have thermostats that run on batteries forget to change the batteries regularly and their thermostats quit working. If this is your problem, the fix couldn’t be easier!
- Is your filter clogged? Checking your filter regularly is important since a clogged filter can mean an underperforming furnace. It can also cause your heat exchanger to shut off too quickly because of overheating, insufficiently heating your home.
- Did the fuse get tripped? Check your breaker panel for a tripped fuse and reset it if necessary. Another easy fix!
- How about that safety switch on the furnace door? “Cross your T’s and dot your I’s.” Sometimes little details go unnoticed and create big problems. He said that if a furnace door is even slightly ajar, it can be enough to trigger the safety switch to shut down the furnace entirely.
- Is the furnace on? Check the on/off switch next to the furnace. Someone may have bumped it and accidentally turned it off.
- Do you see a flashing red or green light? Look inside the inspection window for a flashing red or green light. These lights may be blinking a diagnostic code and giving information about the source of the problem. In these cases, you’re best off reaching out to a professional.
- Is the flame sensor dirty? This important little rod is located in the back of the furnace in the path of the burner. When it gets dirty, its function is restricted and may cause the furnace to malfunction. If you suspect this is your problem, a professional can help you clean up any oxidation or carbon buildup so your furnace kicks out the heat again!
- Do you have plastic vent pipes? If your furnace has plastic PVC vent pipes going outside, check to see if they’re blocked. Snow, ice or any other blockage can shut the furnace down. Carefully clear any obstruction, turn the power to the furnace off, wait five minutes and then turn the power back on.
What Should You Do Next?
If these diagnostic tips don’t help you detect the problem and get your furnace up and running, Titan Heating and Cooling would be happy to step in! We understand the gravity of furnace issues in the middle of winter. That’s why our technicians respond to furnace emergencies day or night. Give us a call at 651.714.8931.