5 Things To Do When Your Furnace Stop Working During Freezing Weather

19 December 2022
 Categories: , Blog


One of the worst times for a furnace to stop working is during a winter cold snap. Knowing what to do can protect your home and ensure you are warm again as soon as possible.

1. Open the Pipes

If temperatures are at or below freezing, your first task after a furnace failure is to ensure the pipes don't freeze. Frozen pipes can burst and leak, causing expensive damage to the plumbing and main structure of your home. Open up the cabinet doors that house the plumbing below sinks to allow what warm air there is to circulate. Then, turn on the taps to a slow trickle, as moving water is less likely to freeze.

2. Conserve Remaining Heat

Once the plumbing is tended to, work on conserving heat for your family. If you have a fireplace or space heater, you can create a warming area by closing the doors to the room to conserve heat — just don't leave the fire or space heater unattended, and make sure there is proper ventilation. Water bottles, heating pads and electric blankets, and warm drinks can also help. It's also a good idea to bake something in the oven when the furnace is out. 

3. Troubleshoot the Obvious

There are a few obvious things to check for before calling in an emergency repair. Begin with the thermostat and verify that everything is turned on and the temperature is set correctly. Then, try turning the heat up high to see if that turns on the furnace. If it does, then the thermostat may need to be replaced. It's also a good idea to check the fuse box to make sure that no circuits have been tripped or need to be reset. 

4. Check Fuel and Airflow

If you are on gas or oil heat, make sure that the pilot light is lit. Sometimes clogs in the fuel supply valve can cause the pilot to go out, and simply cleaning the valve and relighting the pilot solves the problem. Clogged air filters in the furnace can also cause issues, as without air flow, electric furnaces shut down to prevent overheating and gas or oil furnaces can't combust fuel properly.

5. Call for Emergency Repairs

Do not put off repairs until a more convenient time, as doing so during extremely low temperatures increases the chances of expensive damage to other systems in the home, namely the plumbing system. Instead, call a 24-hour emergency furnace unit repair service. They can get someone out to repair your furnace no matter if it's the weekend, a holiday, or after normal business hours. 

Losing heat during an extreme cold snap is stressful. Knowing what to do and acting quickly means you won't be in the cold for long. 

For more information, contact a local company, like B & H Heating.