Last Big Winter Storm Knock Out Your Furnace? 4 Steps To Help You Isolate The Problem

If your furnace gave out after this last winter storm that blew through, you'll need to do some troubleshooting. You might not realize this but snow can wreak havoc on your furnace. Unfortunately, once your furnace goes out during the winter, you can be left out in the cold, especially if everyone else in the surrounding area is experiencing furnace problems too. If the recent heavy snowfall stopped your furnace in its tracks, here are four steps you should take to isolate the problem. 

Clear the Exhaust and Intake Pipes

If your furnace is going to work properly, it needs plenty of ventilation. Unfortunately, a deep snow pack can prevent that from happening. If your furnace isn't working, the first thing you need to do is go out and clear the exhaust and intake pipes. If they're buried under snow, they won't be able to circulate the air that your furnace needs to function properly. Once you've cleared the snow away from the exhaust and intake pipes, your furnace should work properly again.  

Defrost Your Exterior Heat Pump

If your furnace operates off an exterior heat pump, and clearing the exhaust and intake pipes didn't resolve the issue, it's time to take close look at the pump itself. If the heat pump is covered in snow, clear it away as soon as possible. If the heat pump is frozen, you'll need to defrost it before the system will work properly. To do that, turn your furnace off and pour hot water over the heat pump. Once the pump is defrosted, turn your furnace on again. Clearing the snow and ice should do the trick. 

Check Your Pilot Light

If the previous two steps didn't resolve the issue, you'll need to check the pilot light, especially if the last storm brought snow and high winds. The wind that was blowing may have caused a draft that blew out the pilot light. If that's the case, you'll need to relight the pilot light. After the pilot light is re-lit, test your furnace to see if it's operational. 

Call for Repairs

If the steps provided above fail to get your furnace up and running again, call for repairs as soon as possible. HVAC repair technicians can get booked up quickly during the winter, especially after a big snow storm. When you call for repairs, be sure to let them know about the steps you took to try and resolve the problem for yourself. That way, they know where to start their inspection when they come out to your home.

For more information on furnace repair problems, contact a professional near you.