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A Homeowner’s Guide to Emergency Heating Repair


"A Homeowner's Guide to Emergency Heating Repair" over blue-tinted image of technician repairing a heating system, with Harris Air logo in bottom left corner.

Things can get complicated when your heating system stops working. This blog post will help you identify the warning signs of an impending heating system failure. We’ll also offer steps to protect your home against furnace failure and guide you on what to do if your heat goes out in the middle of winter.

What Are the Warning Signs of a Heating System Failure?

HVAC technician inspecting a home's furnace.Understanding the signs of a heating system failure can help you prevent more substantial damage to your home and keep repair costs down. Failing to take the right steps against such an event might raise your utility bills as heating costs continue, whether or not there is heat in the house.

Some of the signs that a heating system is failing include:

Strange noises coming from the unit

Several warning sounds indicate a potential problem with your furnace’s motor and blower wheel assembly, including grinding or rattling noises. If you hear these sounds, it’s essential to turn off the power immediately, as they could cause electrical shocks if left running for too long.

It may be possible for an experienced technician to perform an emergency heating repair after turning off the power. Still, there’s a chance the system won’t restart if it has overheated.

Cycling on and off repeatedly

A home comfort system that frequently turns on and then off again may have insufficient airflow to operate correctly, resulting in extremely high utility bills. While many homeowners notice this behavior at first, they often don’t take the necessary steps to explore the problem until it gets much worse.

The air coming out of your vents isn’t hot enough

If you notice either too-warm or cold air coming from your vents, this could indicate a problem with airflow through your heating system’s ducts. This could begin as an easy fix for an experienced HVAC technician but could also indicate an issue with the furnace’s airflow sensor. If left untreated, it can lead to heating system failure and costly repairs.

Leaking water from your heating unit

While a small amount of condensation is normal due to humidity, leaking water can indicate a leaky drain pan or cracked heat exchanger. Both are serious problems that should be addressed immediately by a reputable HVAC technician before turning on the power again, as they may cause electrical shocks.

Your home is too hot or too cold

If your home is never the right temperature, despite having the correct setting, then something is wrong. There may be a problem with airflow through the duct system. It may also indicate problems with your heat exchanger. It will require an inspection by a service technician for leaks and other issues that professionals should address promptly to prevent heating system failure.

Your bills are higher than you expect

If you noticed a much higher heating bill recently, look at your home’s central heating system to see if it’s running as frequently as it should. If so, have an HVAC technician check to determine the cause of the problem before turning on the power again. This could save you money by catching the issue early and preventing more expensive repairs later.

HVAC Contractor’s Tips To Prevent Furnace Failure

Prevention is the best way to avoid costly heating system repairs. Taking these steps will help prevent problems from progressing and keep your house at a comfortable temperature all winter. Some of the most important ways to prevent heating system failure include:

Don’t allow pets or children near any exposed wiring or controls

Electrical components in your home’s heating sensor are dangerous if they get damaged. While it might seem like an easy fix for an experienced HVAC technician, there is still a risk that the furnace could catch on fire if not repaired properly. Keep all pets and children away from areas where there are exposed wiring or controls.

Have furnaces serviced twice per year

A licensed HVAC technician can help ensure that your central heating system operates as safely and efficiently as possible. For maximum safety, schedule furnace services twice per year before winter arrives to keep your home comfortable all season.

Perform regular checks on flues, vents, and ducts

It’s essential to inspect their home’s central heating system regularly. Keeping an eye out for signs of damage could prevent more expensive repairs down the line by catching issues early. You can also seek help from your local technician on this matter.

Have a certified HVAC technician repair or replace your unit if it fails

If you suspect there’s something wrong with your heating system, don’t attempt to turn on the power without first consulting a reputable HVAC technician. While saving money by doing the job yourself might be tempting, any problems left unaddressed could become costly and time-consuming to fix later.

If your central heating system breaks down completely, contact a reputable local company that offers heating installation for immediate assistance.

Regularly change furnace filters

Maintaining your heating unit’s airflow sensor by keeping the furnace filter clean will keep your system running at peak performance. If it doesn’t have the proper airflow, you could risk creating a fire or other safety hazard, and it might result in damaging your home’s central heating system.

Regularly changing the filters according to manufacturer specifications will prevent problems and ensure maximum efficiency and safety.

What To Do When Your Heating System Fails

HVAC technician completing furnace maintenance on heating system.If you’ve taken precautions to prevent your heating system from breaking down, don’t worry. Even if you follow all the guidelines mentioned above, it’s still possible that a heating system failure could occur at any time.

Here’s what you should do when your furnace fails:

If your furnace has a power failure, wait five to 10 minutes for it to turn back on.

If the system still won’t restart after a short time, don’t panic. Wait for another five to 10 minutes and see if it eventually restarts. If not, call an electrician or HVAC technician immediately.

Do not attempt to turn on the power without first consulting a professional so they can address the problem safely and entirely before putting yourself at risk of injury.

Shut off power if you smell smoke or notice signs of burning inside the furnace

If your heating unit appears to have switched itself off properly, stand by for further instructions from the electrician or HVAC technician. If you smell smoke or see signs of flames coming from any part of the furnace, shut off the power immediately and call an expert if it can’t be turned off when accessible.

Avoid using water to extinguish flames around the heater

If your heating system has caught fire, do not attempt to put it out using water. This would likely make matters worse by spreading the fire through hot steam or causing an overflow in your home’s plumbing. Instead, hang up the phone and prepare for further instructions from firefighters who have been sent to help resolve the problem safely.

Stay away from damaged units until proper repairs are made

Even if your heating unit no longer produces heat during a power outage, stay away and leave repairs to a professional HVAC technician or electrician. Do not attempt to fix the problem yourself since it could result in dangerous internal damage that might not be visible from the outside.

Contact a professional if you can’t turn off your system

If you’ve tried all your unit’s switches and knobs, as well as the main power switch but still can’t shut off the furnace, do not attempt to remove any part of your heating unit. This could create further damage and risk serious injury.

Call for emergency heating repair to address the problem safely and entirely.

Contact a local furnace repair company if your heating system won’t turn back on

If you’ve had to call an electrician or HVAC technician for help with a major heating unit breakdown, don’t assume you can resolve the issue yourself. Attempting to fix your system will likely create an additional problem, or you can make the issue more costly with poor repairs.

That’s why it’s so important not to try to fix this type of problem without first getting proper training and tools.

Call Harris Air Services for Emergency Furnace Repair in McKinney, TX

If your heating system suddenly stops working, think wisely and do what’s best. Consider the above safety precautions, and then take a deep breath before calling your local furnace repair company specializing in emergency heating repair.

At Harris Air Services, we’ll provide the best solutions to get your system working again.

Call 469-325-1034 today to get started right away.

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