Skip to main content

Emergency Furnace Repair: What to Do When Your Heat Goes Out

As winter’s chill creeps in, your trusty furnace steps into the spotlight, silently working to keep your home warm and snug. Yet, what happens when this unsung hero unexpectedly falters, leaving you shivering in the cold? This is precisely when the significance of emergency furnace repair becomes apparent. In this in-depth guide, we will explore the crucial steps to take when your heating system fails unexpectedly, providing you with essential advice to ensure your warmth and safety during those frosty moments.

Cold Emergency Furnace Repairs

The Unwelcome Chill: Why Emergency Furnace Repair Matters

When the mercury plummets, and your furnace malfunctions, it swiftly transforms into an uncomfortable and potentially hazardous situation. Your furnace isn’t just a convenience; it’s a vital cog in your home’s heating apparatus, responsible for creating a comfortable and secure indoor environment. When it falters, you must have a plan in place to address the issue promptly. Here’s why emergency furnace repair is so vital:

1. Comfort and Well-Being

First and foremost, a functional furnace is paramount for your comfort and well-being, particularly during the unforgiving winter months. Without a reliable heating system, your home can swiftly become an unwelcoming icebox. Emergency furnace repair ensures that your dwelling remains a warm and inviting sanctuary for you and your loved ones.

2. Health and Safety

In addition to comfort, furnace malfunctions can jeopardize your health and safety. Cold indoor temperatures can lead to health concerns such as hypothermia, especially for vulnerable individuals like the elderly, young children, or those with pre-existing health conditions. Furthermore, certain alternative heating methods, such as using portable heaters or stoves, can be perilous if not handled correctly, increasing the risk of fires or carbon monoxide poisoning. Emergency furnace repair acts as a shield against these threats, keeping your home secure and toasty.

3. Preventing Further Damage

Turning a blind eye to furnace issues can result in more extensive and costly repairs down the line. What may start as a minor malfunction can rapidly escalate into a major problem, potentially necessitating a complete furnace replacement. Swift emergency repairs often nip the problem in the bud before it blossoms into a more substantial issue, saving you both time and money.

What To Do When Emergency Furnace Repair

What to Do When Your Furnace Stops Working

Now that we’ve underscored the importance of emergency furnace repair, let’s delve into the precise steps to take when your furnace unexpectedly calls it quits. Follow these guidelines to maintain your warmth and well-being:

1. Check the Thermostat

Commence with the fundamentals. Ensure that your thermostat is set to the desired temperature and in the “heat” mode. Sometimes, a minor adjustment can rectify the issue.

2. Inspect the Circuit Breaker

Your furnace might have tripped the circuit breaker. Examine your electrical panel and reset the breaker if it has tripped. Should it trip again, refrain from repetitive resetting and reach out to a professional technician.

3. Replace the Air Filter

A clogged or filthy air filter can obstruct airflow, causing your furnace to malfunction. Inspect the filter, and if it’s soiled, replace it. Routinely changing your filter can thwart future issues.

4. Verify the Fuel Supply

For those with gas furnaces, ensure that the gas supply is active. If you have an oil furnace, confirm that you possess an ample reserve of heating oil. Depletion of fuel can cause your furnace to cease operation.

5. Inspect Vents and Registers

Obstructed or closed vents and registers can limit airflow, resulting in heating problems. Confirm that these openings remain unblocked and unobstructed to enable the free circulation of warm air.

6. Look for Error Codes

Modern furnaces often incorporate diagnostic features that display error codes when a problem surfaces. Refer to your furnace’s manual to decode these codes, which can offer valuable insights into the issue at hand.

7. Reset the Furnace

On occasion, resetting your furnace can resolve minor issues. Locate the reset button on your furnace’s control panel and adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines for resetting.

8. Call for Professional Help

If none of the above measures rectify the issue, it’s time to summon the professionals. Attempting intricate repairs without the requisite expertise can be perilous and may even void your warranty. Professional technicians possess the training and tools to diagnose and remedy furnace problems securely.

Furnace Repair During The Winter

Questions & Answers About Emergency Furnace Repair

Can I attempt to repair my furnace myself during an emergency?

While minor tasks such as changing the air filter can be executed by homeowners, numerous furnace issues necessitate professional expertise. Endeavoring complex repairs without the requisite knowledge can be perilous and may nullify your warranty. Opting for professional technicians for emergency furnace repairs is the recommended course of action.

How long can my home safely go without heat in an emergency?

The duration a home can endure without heat safely hinges on various factors, including external temperatures, insulation, and the health and age of the occupants. In exceptionally frigid conditions, extended exposure to cold indoors can lead to health hazards, particularly for susceptible individuals. Hence, it’s imperative to swiftly address furnace issues or contemplate alternative heating sources to maintain a secure and comfy indoor environment.

What is the typical response time for emergency furnace repair services?

Response times are contingent on your location and the availability of the service provider. During severe weather events or peak seasons, scheduling emergency repairs may take longer. It’s prudent to contact a reputable service provider as soon as you detect furnace issues to secure a swift response.

Conclusion

Confronting an abrupt furnace malfunction can be an intimidating experience, particularly in the throes of winter. However, by comprehending the significance of emergency furnace repair and mastering the actions to undertake when your heat vanishes, you can ensure the comfort and safety of your family. Remember to embark on basic troubleshooting but refrain from hesitating to summon professional technicians for intricate problems. With the correct approach, you can promptly reinstate warmth to your abode and navigate the winter season with tranquility.

Preparing Your Furnace for Winter: Essential Maintenance Tips

TLDR: Maintaining your furnace is crucial for a warm and comfortable home during winter. Regular maintenance improves efficiency, enhances safety, and extends the furnace’s lifespan. An efficient furnace reduces heating costs, ensures safety, and offers long-term value. The top 10 maintenance tips include replacing or cleaning air filters, inspecting and cleaning vents and ducts, testing the thermostat, lubricating moving parts, checking the blower motor, inspecting the ignition system, cleaning the heat exchanger, and testing safety controls. Professional servicing is recommended annually to catch potential issues early and ensure optimal performance.


As the winter months approach, ensuring your furnace is in top condition becomes essential to maintain a warm and comfortable home. Regular furnace maintenance not only enhances its efficiency but also extends its lifespan. In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of preparing your furnace for winter and provide you with essential maintenance tips to help keep your heating system running smoothly. Read on to discover how to stay cozy and worry-free during the cold season.

The Importance of Furnace Maintenance

Your furnace is an indispensable component of your home’s heating system, playing a vital role in ensuring your comfort and well-being, especially when the winter chill sets in. Neglecting the maintenance of this essential appliance can have far-reaching consequences, including reduced efficiency, higher energy bills, and the unfortunate possibility of a breakdown just when you need heat the most. Let’s delve deeper into why furnace maintenance should never be underestimated:

Furnace Efficiency

One of the primary reasons to prioritize furnace maintenance is its direct impact on efficiency. Your furnace’s efficiency is a measure of how effectively it can convert fuel or electricity into heat while minimizing waste. Over time, dust, debris, and wear and tear can compromise your furnace’s efficiency, causing it to work harder and consume more energy to provide the same level of warmth. When your furnace operates at its peak efficiency, it heats your home effectively while using less energy. This not only keeps you comfortable but also lowers your heating costs, which can be particularly noticeable during the cold winter months. By investing in regular furnace maintenance, you ensure that your heating system is operating as efficiently as possible, saving you money and reducing your environmental footprint.

Furnace Safety

Beyond efficiency, safety is a paramount concern when it comes to furnace maintenance. Your furnace produces heat through combustion (for gas or oil furnaces) or electrical heating elements, making it essential to ensure that this process occurs safely and without risks to your home or family. A well-maintained furnace is less likely to develop safety issues. For instance, routine inspections can detect potential problems, such as a cracked heat exchanger in a gas furnace, which can lead to carbon monoxide leaks. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly when inhaled in high concentrations. Additionally, regular maintenance checks can identify and address overheating issues, faulty safety controls, or malfunctioning components that could otherwise pose serious health and safety risks to your family. By maintaining your furnace properly, you minimize the chances of dangerous incidents, ensuring your home remains a safe haven throughout the heating season.

Furnace Lifespan

Furnaces represent a significant investment in your home’s infrastructure, and it’s in your best interest to make that investment last. Furnaces that receive proper maintenance tend to have longer lifespans. Over time, the wear and tear on a furnace can take a toll on its components, potentially leading to breakdowns and the need for costly repairs or replacements. Regular servicing, on the other hand, can extend the life of your furnace, delaying the day when you’ll face the expense of a new unit. When you consider that a well-maintained furnace can continue to deliver reliable heating for many years, the cost savings and peace of mind that come with proper maintenance become evident. By scheduling regular maintenance, you not only protect your investment but also ensure that your furnace continues to provide dependable warmth, season after season.

Top Furnace Maintenance Tips

Top 10 Essential Furnace Maintenance Tips

Your furnace plays a pivotal role in keeping your home warm and comfortable during the cold winter months. To ensure it operates efficiently and reliably, regular maintenance is key. In this guide, we present the top 10 essential furnace maintenance tips that will help you prepare your heating system for the winter season. From checking the air filter to testing safety controls, these tips will keep your furnace running smoothly and your home cozy.

Replace or Clean the Air Filter

A dirty or clogged air filter can significantly impact your furnace’s performance. It reduces airflow, forcing your furnace to work harder and potentially leading to damage. Make it a habit to inspect your air filter monthly and replace it when it’s dirty or follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Proper filtration ensures optimal efficiency and indoor air quality.

Inspect and Clean Vents and Ducts

Ensuring unobstructed airflow is crucial for efficient heating. Check that vents and ducts are clear of obstacles, such as furniture or debris. Use a vacuum to remove dust and dirt around registers and inspect ductwork for leaks. Leaky ducts can result in heat loss, reducing the overall efficiency of your heating system.

Test the Thermostat

Your thermostat is the control center of your heating system. To ensure it’s working correctly, test it in both heating and cooling modes. Replace the batteries if necessary and consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat for improved energy savings and precise temperature control.

Lubricate Moving Parts

Furnace components with moving parts, such as motor and fan bearings, require proper lubrication to reduce friction and wear. Consult your furnace’s manual for guidance on lubrication intervals and the type of lubricant to use. Proper lubrication extends the life of these critical components.

Check the Blower Motor

The blower motor is a vital element of your furnace’s operation. It’s responsible for circulating heated air throughout your home. Regularly inspect it for dirt and debris, and clean it if necessary. Ensure that the blower belt is correctly tensioned, and replace it if it shows signs of wear. A well-maintained blower motor ensures efficient heat distribution.

Inspect the Ignition System

For gas furnaces, the ignition system is of paramount importance. A clean and functioning pilot light or flame sensor is essential for proper ignition. Regularly clean these components to ensure reliable performance. If you have an electronic ignition system, check for any issues with the control board and address them promptly to avoid ignition problems.

Inspect and Clean the Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is a critical furnace component responsible for transferring heat to the air that circulates through your home. Over time, it can develop cracks or corrosion, which can lead to carbon monoxide leaks—a potentially life-threatening issue. It’s highly advisable to schedule professional inspections for the heat exchanger, as repairing or replacing it requires specialized knowledge and tools.

Test Safety Controls

Safety controls, including limit switches and pressure switches, are in place to protect your furnace from overheating and other potential hazards. Ensure that these controls are functioning correctly by testing them periodically. Faulty safety controls can compromise your furnace’s safety and efficiency, so any issues should be addressed promptly.

Questions & Answers About Furnace Maintenance

How often should I schedule furnace maintenance?

It’s recommended to have your furnace professionally serviced annually before the start of the heating season. Regular maintenance can catch potential issues early and ensure optimal performance.

Can I perform furnace maintenance myself?

While some maintenance tasks, such as filter replacement and cleaning, can be done by homeowners, many aspects of furnace maintenance require professional expertise. Professional technicians have the training and tools to perform comprehensive inspections and repairs safely.

What are signs that my furnace needs professional attention?

If you notice any of the following signs, it’s time to call a professional technician:

  • Unusual noises like banging or screeching.
  • Inconsistent heating or frequent cycling.
  • Uneven heating throughout your home.
  • A sudden increase in energy bills.
  • The presence of unusual odors, especially a sulfur or rotten egg smell, which could indicate a gas leak.

Conclusion

Preparing your furnace for winter through regular maintenance is a proactive step toward ensuring your home remains warm, efficient, and safe throughout the cold season. By following these essential maintenance tips and scheduling annual professional servicing, you can enjoy reliable and worry-free heating, lower energy costs, and peace of mind knowing that your furnace is ready to face the challenges of winter. Don’t wait until the chill sets in; take action now to keep your home cozy and comfortable during the winter months.

Benefits of Upgrading Your Thermostat

Many people often look for ways that they can reduce their costly utilities bills. Energy consumption makes up a huge part of those utility bills, which is where the issue of upgrading one’s thermostat comes in. One excellent way of reducing costs without sacrificing comfort is by investing in a thermostat upgrade. 

Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling is a plumbing and HVAC company based in Tucson, Arizona. Their specialty lies in the repair and installation of both residential and commercial heating, plumbing, and cooling systems. They provide the top four benefits of upgrading your thermostat, from cost savings to the ease and convenience that comes with their installation.

Cost Savings

According to Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling, one of the main benefits of a thermostat upgrade is that doing so can save you money. Many people fail to realize that making the switch from a manual thermostat to one that is programmable is a surefire way to reduce your energy bills. In fact, several studies have found that a thermostat upgrade can reduce your overall energy bill by between 5% and 15%. This is because programmable or smart thermostats can be scheduled or programmed to decrease usage when your home is empty or overnight when you’re sleeping, ensuring your HVAC system is never on unnecessarily. 

Ease and Convenience

Like with a lot of different types of technologies, new thermostats are only getting easier to operate. They are more intuitive than they’ve ever been, shares Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling. This means that even if you’re not the most tech-savvy person, you will likely find it far easier learning how to use a modern, programmable thermostat compared to a manual one. A few features that make modern thermostats easier to use include touch screen controls, digital read outs and lit LED screens that make it possible to read the thermostat even when the lights are off. Some smart thermostats can even be controlled from your mobile phone, an extremely convenient feature for many people. In addition, certain modern thermostats will offer information beyond the temperature, providing the homeowner with alerts if anything is wrong with the system, as well as maintenance reminders, such as when the homeowner should change the filter. Overall, Cummings Plumbing firmly believes that thermostat upgrades make the homeowners life much easier.

Zoning 

A zoning system is the most effective way to heat or cool your home. As the name suggests, it divides your home into zones, allowing you to set different temperatures for each. This way, if there’s a part of the house you never use, you don’t have to waste energy (and money) heating or cooling it. Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling of Tucson, Arizona, asserts that if you choose to install a zoning system, you will have no option but to purchase a compatible zoning thermostat. However, even if you have an older thermostat in your home, it might be worth upgrading to a zoning thermostat so you can have more control over which areas of your home are being served by your HVAC system.

Environmentally-Friendly

Yet another benefit to a thermostat upgrade is that modern thermostats are more environmentally friendly than their traditional counterparts, shares Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling. Modern thermostats are mercury free and best of all, actively reduce the amount of energy consumption in your home. This is because they only turn on when there is a need and many are able to detect or be programmed to know when residents will be out of the home and thus it doesn’t need to be turned on.

Repair or Replace: How to Tell What Your A/C Unit Requires

The air conditioning unit is one of the most important items in a home, especially a home in a warm climate like Arizona. Thus, when your A/C unit is giving you trouble, it can make for a really bad day. 

Cummings Plumbing Heating & Cooling is a plumbing and HVAC company based in Tucson, Arizona. They have been in business for nearly 36 years and provide a wide range of services to their clients, including A/C repair, A/C replacement, electric services, HVAC, trenchless pipe repair, and water heater repair and replacement. They share a few telltale signs that your A/C unit is past the point of repair and instead needs to be replaced entirely. 

Telltale Sign #1: The Unit Itself is Old

What exactly is considered “old” when it comes to an A/C unit? According to Cummings Plumbing, any air conditioning unit that is between 10 and 15 years old is considered old and may need to be replaced. This applies to both central and ductless air conditioners. Typically, A/C units have a lifespan of about a decade or a decade and a half, but no more than two decades. So, if you’ve had the same unit for over 10 years, the necessary repairs are likely to start racking up and they generally aren’t cheap with units this old. It’s a good idea to have a technician take a look and give you their opinion on whether it’s time to call it and buy a new unit or it’s worth sticking it out a while longer and dealing with the necessary repairs as they come.

Telltale Sign #2: You’ve Repaired it Multiple Times Already

Another telltale sign that you’re in need of an A/C replacement is if you are frequently having your unit repaired. If you’re experiencing cracks, breaks, and/or regular stoppages, it’s a clear sign that the components inside the unit are wearing down. Occasional repairs are completely normal, but multiple repairs over a short span of time, such as during the summer months, is a sign of something much more serious. Of course, you always have the option of continuing with regular repairs. However, Cummings Plumbing Heating & Cooling recommends upgrading to an entirely new unit, as at this point, you’ll likely be spending more on repairs than you would on a new unit.

Telltale Sign #3: Your Energy Bills Are Going Up

According to Cummings Plumbing of Tucson, Arizona, if you notice your energy bills are starting to rise it could be a sign that your A/C unit is in need of repair or replacement. As A/C units age, they may be required to work harder and use much more power to do the same amount of work. That is why you might notice an increase in your bill, yet you’re receiving the same amount of cool air as in the past. In this situation, though upgrading your unit may not be strictly necessary from a functional standpoint, it might be the right decision as in the long run, it could very well save you money. Air conditioners are becoming increasingly energy efficient. Nowadays, A/C units have SEER ratings and the higher the rating, the more energy efficient the unit is. If you decide to buy a new one but aren’t sure which is best for you, consider asking a professional, such as Cummings Plumbing, who would be happy to provide their advice regarding the most energy efficient units on the market today.

Understanding HVAC Basics in Arizona

Whether you’re a brand new or longtime homeowner, understanding the basics of your home’s HVAC unit is a must. An HVAC system is one of the most important components to a house, especially for households located in extreme climates, such as that of Arizona. 

Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling, a plumbing and HVAC company based out of Tucson, Arizona, are experts on the repair and installation of residential and commercial plumbing, heating, and cooling systems. They know how important it is that homeowners have at least a basic understanding of how HVAC systems work, and more importantly, how to keep them running smoothly. They provide a few basic tips that all Arizona homeowners should know about their HVAC. 

Always Keep Your Outdoor Unit Clean

One of the basic tips relating to HVAC systems is to always keep the outdoor unit clean. It doesn’t take much for an outdoor unit to be covered in dirt, leaves, and other debris, but this can lead to issues in the long term. That is why homeowners should regularly clean their outdoor unit. Beyond simply removing any leaves, weeds, or other build up around the unit, clean it with water via a hose. However, be sure that the power to the outdoor unit has been turned off before doing so. In addition, although you can get away with doing this less frequently, Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling advises all homeowners to deep clean the inside of the unit as well, removing the panels and giving them a wash.   

Change Your Filter Regularly

Another HVAC 101 tip? Change out your filter regularly. This is one of the easiest and best tips when it comes to keeping your HVAC unit running smoothly. Professionals recommend all homeowners change out their HVAC filter every three months and replace their filters along with the seasons. So, when Summer turns to Fall, it means it’s time to change your filter. In addition to keeping your system running efficiently, a new filter can drastically improve the air quality inside your home. If you like, Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling often advises homeowners to change their filter and clean their outdoor unit simultaneously. They can easily be done at the same time and that way, you don’t have to perform maintenance on your unit all the time.

Maintain Your HVAC System

Maintaining your HVAC system is yet another tip for all Arizona homeowners. If you want your HVAC system to last as long as possible, then regular maintenance is a must. Cummings Plumbing recommends scheduling an annual HVAC check-up with an experienced technician. Not only will the technician make sure everything is running smoothly and fix potential kinks, but they are experts at preventative maintenance. This means that they will perform tasks such as cleaning the condensation drain line, which are not necessarily problems but could turn into problems if not dealt with. 

Know When It Should Be Replaced

Lastly, it is critical all Arizona homeowners are able to identify when their HVAC system needs to be replaced. The average lifespan of an HVAC unit is roughly 15 to 20 years. This means that depending on how old your current unit is, it may be time for a replacement sooner rather than later. Cummings Plumbing recommends all new homeowners find out the age of the HVAC system before buying the house, just so that they have all the information. While time is one of the best indicators regarding when to replace your HVAC unit, routine problems are another indicator. If you’re constantly attempting DIY jobs to fix one thing or another, or calling a professional, it might be time for a replacement. Generally speaking, Cummings Plumbing Heating and Cooling of Tucson, Arizona, says that once your system is costing you a decent amount of money in repairs every single month, it’s likely going to be more cost-effective (not to mention less stressful) to replace it. No one ever wants to spend more money repairing a unit than it would cost to get a brand new one.