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What to Do If Your Furnace Is Not Working in Cold Weather

furnace not working in cold weather

It’s the dead of a winter snowstorm, and you and your family members are huddled together indoors and spending time with one another. Suddenly, you notice the temperature in your home plummet. You check the vents and find no warm air, tampering with the thermostat, breakers, and pilot light to no avail.

Unfortunately, this scene can happen in your household when your furnace breaks down with no warning. When it does, you need to know what to do to promptly correct the situation.

Don’t suffer through the cold. If your furnace unexpectedly breaks down at a crucial moment, contact Air Zone Air Conditioning & Heating Inc., the leading furnace replacement experts in Tampa. We’ll get your heat working again so you and your family can restore your home to livable temperatures.

Immediate Things to Check

Sometimes, homeowners can fix a broken furnace on their own. Other times, you’ll need to call professionals to get it working properly. 

Regardless of the situation, you can take preliminary steps to check that everything works. 

  •  Make Sure Your Furnace Is Turned On: Many modern furnaces have switches on their side, resembling a light switch that someone in your family may have accidentally bumped. If your button is off, turn it back on and see if this fixes the problem.
  • Turn Thermostat to Heat: For those who have central air and heating, you may not have set your thermostat to “heat mode.” If this has happened to you, set it back to heat and see if your home warms. Additionally, check your thermostat’s settings to ensure you didn’t accidentally change an option. Smart thermostats may alert you that something isn’t working.
  • Reset Your Furnace: If you notice inadequate airflow, try resetting the furnace. 
  • Check if Your Thermostat Is Broken: Set your furnace to various temperatures and see how it responds.
  • Check Electrical Panel: A blown fuse or tripped breaker may be the culprit. If this is the case, rejoice! You can fix this yourself.
  • Check Pilot Light: Ensure the pilot light works and that you’ve turned the gas valve to the “on” position. If this caused the problem, relight the pilot light.

In many cases, applying this list should resolve your issues. If your furnace blows cold air, call a professional immediately to get additional help. Additionally, if one or more of these problems happens regularly, it may be time to replace your furnace.

Next Steps to Take

If any of these immediate solutions don’t fix your problem, it’s time to start additional troubleshooting. Likewise, you need to make sure a more significant issue is not at play, as furnaces can be volatile, and a gas leak can prove deadly. In the event of an emergency, always call a professional first.

Some of these tips can be short-term solutions while you’re waiting for your heating company to arrive and resolve the issue. 

Search for the Smell of Gas

Safety comes first, especially when dealing with heating. While natural gas smells like nothing, mercaptan, a sulfuric gas, lies within most gas heating systems to alert homeowners to a leak. 

Sniff around for a rotten egg smell, which indicates your furnace is breaking down and leaking. In this instance, you and your family should evacuate immediately. Call your gas and heating company directly, staying away from the home until help arrives. 

As a precaution, you should get your furnace inspected every year to ensure it does not leak harmful gas into your home.

Use Alternative Heat Sources

If your furnace breaks down during national holidays, you may have to wait days for help to arrive. In these cases, rely on safe wood stoves and fireplaces for heat. Some stoves can lead to dangerous fire hazards, so be safe. 

If you have a portable space heater, now’s the time to break it out. Dress warmly, bundle up if you have to, and shut or cover all windows, doors, and other openings in your home tightly, covering them with boards or blankets and other fabrics where necessary. 

Keep Your Pipes Warm

Worse than getting a little cold while your furnace breaks, your pipes can freeze over. Place your portable heater over lines that risk freezing before your heating company arrives. Soak towels with warm water and drape them over the pipes to prevent freezing.

Keep Moving

If your furnace is not working in cold weather, try to work out, dance, or do other physical activities with your family. While it may seem silly, the added movement will cause your body temperature to rise, staving off some of the cold.

Stay Inside

We mentioned sealing any cracks in your home’s foundation, but staying inside keeps any cold air from making its way into your home. When your furnace dies, this helps a lot, as every little bit of preserved warm air makes a difference.

Hang Out and Have Slumber Parties Together

A surefire way to keep a single room warm is to bring your entire family in there together. The body heat will make a difference almost immediately. 

If able, you and your family should sleep together in a well-insulated room, trapping all the heat inside after using the previous steps on this list. Besides, calling it a slumber party will raise morale, making the event somewhat fun in the face of adversity. Utilize many blankets and whatever space heaters your family has on hand.

Call Air Zone Air Conditioning & Heating Inc.

The last thing we want is your family suffering through the cold because they cannot solve the issue. While the items on our list help a ton, they don’t always solve the root of the problem. When your furnace breaks down, the best solution is to call a professional who can safely and effectively resolve the issue.

To learn about heating repairs in Tampa or if your furnace is not working in cold weather, call Air Zone Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. today at (813) 855-4191. We’ll promptly solve your heating and air conditioning issues and get your home back to a comfortable temperature in no time.

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