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Althoff Home Services Blog

6 Items to Check Before Calling for Furnace Service

At Althoff Industries, we make our living helping people keep their families safe and cozy with efficient operating HVAC systems. We have built our business and reputation by providing superior service that prevents and resolves issues, not creates them. It’s why many of our customers trust us for their annual furnace tune-ups in the fall. They know our extensive furnace tune-ups provide peace of mind. But furnace tune-up or not, problems can still occur.

Losing heat can be frustrating in winter weather but that frustration can be compounded when realizing, after the fact, that a problem was simple to resolve on your own. If you live in the Crystal Lake area of Northwest Chicago, before you call Althoff Industries or any HVAC company, here are six items you should check.

  1. Check the thermostat setting. Many families will reset thermostats when they leave for work or retire for the evening. Depending on your thermostat, it is possible a temperature setting gets accidentally way low or even takes the thermostat off of the “heat” setting. Before calling for furnace service, take a close look at your thermostat to make sure it is set properly.
  2. Make sure your furnace has power. Even if you use natural gas, your furnace is reliant on electricity. If that electricity is interrupted, you won’t have heat. It may just be that a circuit breaker got shut off for a variety of reasons. Check the circuit breaker for your furnace and reset it if it is in the “off” position. If it immediately pops off again, call a technician.
  3. Check your furnace filter. If rooms are not being heated properly, it could be because fresh air is not getting into the furnace. A common cause is a clogged or dirty air filter that is restricting air flow. Check your furnace’s air filter. You should be able to see through it when held up to a light. A common symptom of restricted air flow is when a furnace “short-cycles”, going on and off far too frequently to be efficient or to provide adequate heating.
  4. Check the pilot light. Gas furnaces have a small pilot light that should be constantly lit to provide an ignition source for the furnace. This pilot light is usually covered by a small door or metal plate near the base of the furnace, near the base of the base of the heating element. If this pilot light is out, you can try to relight it. This can be done by following the instructions on the on/off/pilot control on the furnace and using an extended barbecue grill type lighter or fireplace length match. Of course, if you have any hesitation about relighting your furnace, call a professional technician.
  5. Take note if your gas service has been interrupted. If your gas supply has been interrupted for any reason, the pilot light will need to be reignited. See tip number 4 above.
  6. Your blower motor may not be functioning. In some cases, furnaces may be producing heat, but that heat is not being dissipated through your home because the blower motor is not working properly. Stand by your furnace and when you hear it ignite, you should shortly hear the start of the electric blower motor. You should feel heat blowing from your vents. If you hear the furnace ignite but don’t hear the blower motor start or feel hot air from a vent, it is likely your blower motor. If you are an exceptional do-it-yourselfer, you may be able to replace the blower yourself. We, however, would suggest calling a professional.

A Few Final Tips Before Calling for Furnace Service in Crystal Lake

Winters can be tough in Crystal Lake and Chicagoland area but before you pay for a service call, take the above steps. You may be able to resolve the issue with a few simple checks. If the above steps are unsuccessful, write down the furnace brand name and model number along with the approximate age of your furnace and relay that to your service company. Let them know the steps you took and your results. This can expedite the service call, potentially saving you money.

If you experience a heating problem and need professional help, we invite you to call us at Althoff Industries. We have over 50 years of experience serving Northwest Chicago and have a highly trained staff of technicians with the latest technology to make sure your repair is done promptly and safely. When it comes to the comfort and safety of your family, trust the experts at Althoff Industries.

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