A wintertime breakdown of your trusty furnace is challenging at the start of a new year. You just escaped another expensive holiday season, and you may not have a lot of cash to spare on a repair.
So, how can you repair your furnace on a shoestring budget? Keep scrolling to learn about your financing options, plus simple ways to avoid a costly repair bill altogether.
Putting an Emergency Repair on Credit
Depending on where you live, even half a day without your furnace can be dangerous for your family. Trying out different DIY repairs can take longer than you think, extending how long you go without heat, and there’s a chance you can’t even fix the issue.
In situations where you need a fix right away, you can consider a line of credit for help.
You can find many different types of lines of credit online, but a personal line of credit works best in this situation. Online personal loans are designed to help you cover unexpected expenses you didn’t anticipate in your budget, like repairing your furnace. The other lines of credit on the list are better suited for larger expenses or business purchases.
Can You Solve Your Faulty Furnace on Your Own?
If you can safely live without heat while you troubleshoot your appliance, you may be able to skip having to call an expert and take out a line of credit online. Before you book an appointment, go through this checklist to see if you can solve your issues on your own.
Confirm it Has Power
This might seem obvious, but you should check that your furnace has a power supply. Look at both the power switch and gas valve to ensure they’re in the on setting. Next, check your fuse or breaker box to ensure they haven’t flipped. You may need to manually reset this switch to confirm everything’s working as usual.
Engage the Safety Switch
While you’re next to the furnace, remove the access door and ensure the safety switch hasn’t been tripped. Tripping this switch will shut the power off to your furnace.
Set Your Thermostat to Heat
You want to make sure you haven’t left the summer’s cool setting on, even with a higher temperature. Program your thermostat to heat with an automatic fan.
Look for Blockages
Check that all your registers are open, making sure nothing like an errant sock or child’s toy is stuck down there.
Move your inspection to your basement to look for any gaps in your ductwork. Even small openings here can impact the heat of your home upstairs. Patching these gaps is easy with specialty metal duct tape.
Next, go outside to remove any snow or debris that may block your intake and exhaust pipes.
Replace the Air Filter
An old, clogged air filter could cause another blockage. If it’s dirty enough, the filter doesn’t let air pass through efficiently. This causes your furnace to work harder to force air through it, which increases its energy consumption. In the worst-case scenario, a clogged filter can cause your furnace to overheat and turn off.
Pull out your filter and replace it if it looks dirty. Generally speaking, you should be replacing this filter at least once every three months, although you may do it more often if you live in a dusty climate.
Save This Checklist:
Keep this list on hand for the next time something goes wrong with your furnace. It might just get your appliance running again without the need to call an expensive repair technician.