Homeowners thawing out after furnace burnouts

Sunday’s snap of cold weather snapped a lot of homeowners awake with furnaces that didn’t work.

Opening up your furnace is like looking into a new and scary world. But take heart, the key phrase here is Occum’s razor

In layman‘s terms, the easiest explanation is usually the right one. For example, if your car doesn’t start that doesn’t mean you need a new car, does it?

Your furnace is not a car, but if you discover it doesn’t work, a little checklist is in order. First, what do you need to know about your furnace, “A consumer should know where their air filter is, their filter type, and how to change the filter.” Advises Greg Palmer from Bell Home Solutions in Aurora. Palmer says that is the number one reason furnaces start to flicker.

Before you call a technician, check to make sure your furnace blower is turned on. No kidding, most furnaces have such a switch.

If a technician has to come out, don’t just stand there with money in your hands, ask a few questions, “Any reputable firm should be able to take a look at the unit, give a cost to diagnose if there is one, and once they do their diagnostic tests of the furnace give a quote to repair it once they understand what the problem is.“ Says Palmer.

Two very common solutions are the spark igniter and the capacitor, inexpensive and low cost. Asking these specific and directed questions will let the unscrupulous company know that you’re not just another human ATM.

Last but not least, regular maintenance on your furnace can save thousands in the long run...just like your car

Now if your furnace is over 10 years old, don’t spent too much on repairs, you might be better served to buy a new one.

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