Sometimes there is a simple solution to a problems with your furnace that does not require a repair technician.
Make sure the power to the furnace is ‘ON’
Sometimes a furnace will have what’s called a ‘disconnect switch’ or a ‘service switch’. It is a switch which will shut down the power to your furnace if you ever had a flood in the basement, or if the furnace is going to be serviced. This switch looks like a light switch with a red cover, or it can have the typical light switch cover, with ON and OFF written on it. It is usually located in an unusual location such as higher up on the wall in the stairway going downstairs or even up in the joists of the floor. If it doesn’t have a red service switch plate cover to identify it or a piece of tape intended to stop someone from switching it, (which is all too common), then it may be subject to accidentally being turned to the ‘OFF’ position. This is often the case when kids are involved or especially when you have guests who are trying to be helpful and turn off ALL the lights for you…(Christmas time is popular for this one!)
Make sure you have a clean filter!
Is there good airflow coming from all the supply registers in the home? One of the most common culprits for equipment failure is a dirty or plugged filter. It can cause temporary failure but also long-term damage to your appliance. Lots of furnaces have sensors which will shut it down to prevent further damage which can cause a cold home in winter. If it does get to the point where it ‘locks out’ your unit from normal operation, sometimes cutting the power using the breaker or the power switch near the furnace or stairwell will reset the circuit board and get temporary heat to come on, but remember, it locked out for a reason, so a technician visit is strongly advisable to protect your equipment.
Clear snow away from the intake vent
It happens multiple times every year where we go out to a service call only to find the intake vent of a high efficient furnace has been choked off by snow or sometimes frost. Whether it is a snowdrift caused by the winds or a friendly neighbour snow blowing their snow into your yard, thereby blocking off your intake vent on the side of your home, this can shut down your furnace. Sometimes the steam from an exhaust will swirl around and frost up the intake enough to shut it down too, so it may not always be snow.
Check the batteries in your thermostat
Not everyone has batteries powering their thermostat, but I would be amiss if I didn’t have this on the list. A sure way to know if you in fact have batteries which need changing would be to inspect the screen of your thermostat. If it shows a battery level icon, chances are it will tell you if the batteries are full or not. Batteries can usually be replaced by prying off the cover of the thermostat, and changing them out. Usually AA batteries are the ones you will need.
If you have checked everything on this list and still need furnace repair in Winnipeg don’t hesitate to give Weather Tech a call at 204-799-4926.