What to do: Furnace stopped working

What to do: Furnace stopped working. We frequently receive calls from sometimes frantic homeowners during the winter months, stating my furnace has stopped working. Of course this is certainly an issue when your home suddenly feels like the inside of a refrigerator! Sometimes the problem can be a simple fix. But oftentimes a part has failed and will need to be replaced. It is best to have a qualified hvac technicain come out and diagnose and repair the issue with the furnace. But in these times, alot of do-it-yourselfers simply google “how to fix a furnace” and are suddenly transformed into a certified hvac technician. Unless you’re very familiar with how a furnace works, it’s normal sequence of operation, and you are able to identify specific component parts of a furnace, I do not recommend trying to repair your own furnace. You are dealing with an appliance that (in most cases) operates using natural or propane gas, and electricity. If you may a mistake, the results could be costly.
Different furnace makes and models do not always use compatible parts. For example, an ignitor or a draft inducer in a Trane furnace is not going to use an identical part found in a Goodman or Carrier furnace. There are universal replacement parts available, but not one size fits all. I’ve been on many service calls where a homeowner attempted to repair the furnace themself, only to cause additional damage. An example that comes to mind is a homeowner who called me late on a weekend evening. He stated that he had googled the particular sympton of what he observed his furnace doing. Based on his input, he found a video showing him how to clean the flame sensor. Problem is, he didn’t properly identify the flame sensor and instead removed and attempted to clean the hot surface ignitor, which he in turn broke. What would have been a relatively inexpensive repair now turned into a costly one.
What to do: Furnace stopped working. Changing the furnace filter is also very important. I’ve lost count of the number of service calls I’ve been on over the years where the furnace stopped heating simply because the furnace filter (or filters) were so plugged with dirt that the limit control device failed (this device is a safety feature that prevents the furnace from overheating). A $5 filter replacement has now become a $100-150 repair because of a lack of maintenance. A limit control can often be reset. However, if it has tripped a few times due to overheating it will become weakened and compromised, and will likely eventually fail.
The best advice I can give to Colorado Springs area homeowners is to have your furnace serviced every year. Most of the breakdowns I encounter are caused by a lack of proper maintenance. I know it’s cliche’, but “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. If your furnace suddenly stops working, have a qualified heating technician diagnose the problem. It’s important to determine “why” the furnace failed in the first place. Simply addressing the obvious failure and ignoring the root cause will likely lead to additional problems.
Basset Heating & AC 719-392-0032 Serving Colorado Springs, Fountain and surrounding communities.

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