Being awakened in the middle of a winter night to find that the air in your home has become chilly and the furnace is not working is an uncomfortable situation, especially if the family includes small children. The good news is that there are some things you can quickly try that may get your furnace going and help restore your heat.
If this problem has just happened to your family, take a moment to check on your family members and add an extra blanket to sleeping children's beds. Once you have ensured that your family members are snug and warm, you can begin working your way through these DIY emergency furnace fixes.
Check the power
If a power outage or surge has occurred while you were sleeping, the electrical panel switch that provide power to the furnace may have flipped to the off position. If so, turning it back on may cause your furnace to start working.
Check the thermostat
Thermostats that are incorrectly set are often at fault when furnaces suddenly stop heating the home without warning. If the setting has been changed to the off position or adjusted in error from heat to cool, a simple reset should be enough to restart your furnace. Incorrect date or time settings can also contribute to this type of problem.
If all the settings look correct, but the furnace still fails to operate, try punching in the temperature setting you prefer, then press down on the hold button to override the thermostat. If this manual over-ride is successful, you should hear the furnace start to operate.
Change the furnace filter
Today's high efficiency furnaces require more air flow to run. If the filter has become clogged with dirt and dust, the furnace may shut down in order to prevent wear on the components. Removing and changing the air filter and then switching the furnace back on may be all that is needed to restore welcome heat to your home.
Check intake and exhaust pipes
Because of the increased need for air intake and exhaust, high efficiency furnaces are typically vented to the exterior of your home, either on the lower part of an exterior wall or on the roof. If these tubes have become blocked with snow, ice, leaves, or debris, the resulting lack of air may have forced the furnace to shut down. Homeowners who find these intake and exhaust pipes to be clogged should clear them and then try to restart their furnace.
Temperatures inside your home can drop quickly without a working furnace. Homeowners who are not able to quickly solve their furnace problem should immediately call a reputable furnace repair service for emergency assistance.