Whether you live in Chicago or Calgary, furnace repairs can be very difficult to do yourself. Those of you that have a basic understanding of engineering principles might be able to follow a schematic and fix your furnace’s problems yourself. The rest of you may have to resort to calling an expert to come repair your furnace for you.
So, how do you know which service to call? What kinds of questions should you ask? How should you go about getting your furnace repaired? Here are several things to consider when dealing with a malfunctioning furnace.
1. Be Prepared
This is likely the most important thing to follow through on when dealing with furnace issues. There are several things that you should know or try to find out before calling an expert. Try your best to answer the following questions:
- What is furnace make, model, and year of manufacture?
- Has your furnace ever been serviced? If so, by whom? What was the date of the last service?
- Is the pilot light lit? (If you don’t know how to check this, a furnace repairman should be able to tell you how to check it over the phone.)
- What are the issues that you are having with the furnace?
- What were the circumstances that surrounded the malfunction?
When you start calling around to furnace repair companies, you will probably be asked most or all of these questions. Knowing the answers in advance will expedite the process.
2. Research Your Options
Not all furnace repair shops offer the same services for the same price. There are a number of things that you can do to determine which ones offer the greatest service for the least amount of money.
- Call around and ask about their prices.
- Look at the various websites associated with each company.
- Look online for reviews of each company.
- Ask your friends for recommendations.
The more research you do, the better off you will be. Don’t just pick the first repair company that you come across. Similarly, don’t necessarily hire the shop whose name you know the best. Be investigative and find out the truth about each option.
3. Plan Ahead
If you have a furnace in your house, you should know that it could malfunction someday. Instead of waiting until that moment to start searching for a furnace repair company, start looking now. The added pressure that you’ll feel when you have no heat in your home could be enough to lead you to making a poor judgment.
For those of you that rent, make sure that your landlord has a plan in place to handle emergency furnace repairs. If he or she does not have a plan, you might want to consider renting from someone else. In the north, having a heated living space during the winter is a necessity, rather than a luxury.
4. Keep Your Furnace Maintained
Once your furnace is up a running again, make sure that you do your best to keep it that way. Some furnaces require regular upkeep. The particular type of upkeep will depend largely on the type of furnace you have and how old it is. Make sure that you ask your repairman about the steps you need to take to keep your furnace happy and healthy.
A furnace can be unpredictable. However, you can prepare yourself to handle a malfunction with clarity and speed. Don’t let your furnace get the best of you. Do your research, and put a plan into place. There’s no reason to get caught off guard. The more prepared you are, the less impact your malfunctioning furnace will have on your life.
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Michael David is a freelance journalist and blogger living in New York City. Michael loves writing about DIY projects and home improvement for Just in Time Furnace.