There can be a sinking feeling when your furnace fails to operate on a cold morning. In addition to facing the chilly day without a source of heat, you need to figure out who to call and how much it will cost to have your system up and running again. Before you panic, however, you can take a few diagnostic steps to be sure that there isn’t a simple reason for the malfunction.

Check the Furnace Basics

As you troubleshoot your furnace, start by checking your fuel supply, your controls and your filter. These issues can be easily addressed, and they may save you the cost of a repair call from your HVAC technician. The following steps can help:

  • Check your gas appliances to make sure that the fuel supply hasn’t been interrupted. If your stove fails to light, for example, then your issue is more likely a fuel outage, requiring a call to the gas company.
  • If you have eliminated this issue, make sure that you don’t have a tripped switch in your electrical box. Although gas fuels your furnace, electricity powers components like the blower.
  • Verify that your thermostat is set to heat and that the temperature setting is higher than the indoor temperature reading. You may want to test the batteries in your thermostat as well.
  • Be sure that you don’t have a clogged air filter as this can also affect your system’s operation.
  • You can also check your pilot light to see if there is a flame. Try pressing the reset button to initiate some activity in your system as well.

If you make it through all of these steps without results, it’s time to contact your heating technician. You can describe the behavior of your system so that your technician has an idea of what to expect. You should also take steps to ensure that the members of your household are comfortable and safe.

Working with an HVAC Pro

Your contractor can evaluate your system quickly to pinpoint problems. He can check error codes produced by the unit, enabling him to identify the source of trouble and the required remedy. It’s important to work with a certified professional so that you know that you can count on accurate results that are guaranteed. Gentry Heating provides dependable service, and we are on call on a 24-hour basis throughout the heating months to help you avoid extended exposure to dangerous or uncomfortable household conditions.

Consider a Heating Tune-Up

You may be able to avoid emergency issues with your heating equipment by scheduling a pre-season maintenance visit. During this visit, your technician will:

  • Check and clean heat exchangers and burners
  • Inspect gas lines and connections
  • Adjust and lubricate moving parts as needed
  • Evaluate safety systems and devices
  • Test electronic components and thermostat
  • Remove debris from inside and around cabinet

A heating tune-up that is completed before the cold weather sets in can allow your contractor plenty of time to recommend and complete important repairs and replacements based on his inspection. A tune-up can eliminate up to 95 percent of emergency repair issues while also extending the life of your heating unit. It can also enhance the performance of your heating equipment, allowing you to save money on your winter utility bills. Preventive service can help you to avoid frustration and unnecessary expenses.

It’s helpful to keep in mind that there can be a huge rush of service calls during the first cold snap of the season. Many of these instances address the needs of homeowners who haven’t serviced their HVAC equipment recently. In fact, many homeowners are surprised to learn about system maintenance options during these repair calls. Of course, some are caught off-guard because of an early frost, having had their tune-up services scheduled for a later date. October can be a great month for preventive maintenance, but consider the potential for cold weather arriving early as you schedule your service.

Faced with the Need to Upgrade?

In some cases, your repair or maintenance service may lead to a determination that your heating equipment needs to be replaced. If your older system can’t be affordably or safely repaired, you will need to make some immediate decisions about upgrading. There are many efficient options on the market today, and your technician can help you by discussing the latest specials, utility rebates and tax credits available in our region. The 25C tax credit, for example, has been extended through the end of 2013, making this a great time to save as much as $150 on a new furnace. The credit is available to those eligible homeowners who install qualifying systems in their primary residence prior to the end of the year. Gentry Heating also has frequent specials to help our customers with the cost of services and new installations.

As a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer in the Columbus, NC community, Gentry Heating is able to service your Carrier system correctly and efficiently whether you are faced with an emergency breakdown or a regular maintenance need. We can provide you with the best Carrier heating options if you need a replacement unit. We can also recommend important winter air quality solutions. You can contact our office to discuss your needs or to schedule your appointment today.