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A furnace can be a godsend—especially on those cold winter nights—until it stops working. Thankfully, professional furnace repair is usually just one frantic call away. Many HVAC installers and contractors have the tools and training needed to get your unit working again. As homeowners, the best thing we can do to help them is to let them do their job.

If you ever find yourself in this situation, here are some furnace repair do’s and don’ts to help the HVAC repairmen out.

DOs

Monitor the Situation

Preparing for a Furnace Repair: Do's and Don'tsKeep an eye out for your furnace until the professional arrives. Once you’ve put the call in, it shouldn’t be long before the HVAC professionals get to your house. While waiting, keep your eye on the furnace—and its surroundings. Note any odd noises, smells, temperature swings, or visible changes.

These are things HVAC professionals will want to know in order to understand the situation better. Knowing what they’re dealing with will help them find the best solution for the actual furnace repair.

And on the subject of smells…

Turn the Furnace Off Immediately

If you notice any suspicious smells (like gas or other fuel) around the furnace, turn it off right away. Believe it or not, some homeowners don’t do it when they call for a repair. They figure it’ll only take an hour before the professional comes in and deals with it; what could happen?

A lot.

Strong fuel smells around a furnace could indicate a leak. If this is the case, turn the unit off immediately and inform the repairman once he arrives. Residential repairs—no matter how “small” they may seem—are always serious. Your family’s safety is at risk whenever an HVAC machine malfunctions.

Keep Kids & Pets Away

The last thing you want is your children or pets playing around a ticking time bomb. This might be a bit of an exaggeration, but again; safety. You cannot compromise your family’s safety over anything. A broken furnace could be one spark, short, or malfunction away from causing serious damage to the people and objects around it.

Once you’ve turned the furnace off and called the professionals, escort your kids and pets as far away from the unit as possible.

DON’Ts

DON’T Try to Fix it Yourself

While we do encourage knowing some quick fixes or troubleshooting tips, we cannot stress how important it is that you do not attempt to fix the furnace yourself.

There’s a difference between furnace maintenance and reckless DIY jobs. Attempting to repair any HVAC machine without the proper training or experience falls under the latter.

Professionals can only do proper furnace repair, and you risk destroying your unit even more if you make any sort of attempt for a long-term fix.

Related Content: Furnace Not Working? Here’s How to Diagnose Common Problems

DON’T Touch or Physically Examine the Furnace

Preparing for a Furnace Repair: Do's and Don'tsThis is in-line with the previous point; do not touch a broken heater, especially if you don’t have the proper tools. Short of turning it off and making sure the area is secure (i.e., no kids, cats, or dogs near it), it would be in your best interest to leave the furnace alone.

DON’T Leave Items Near the Furnace

… especially if they’re flammable.

Once you’ve cleared your children and/or pets from the room, you’ll want to move on to the items near the furnace. Tables, chairs, boxes, décor and everything that could potentially interfere with the furnace repair should be moved a little further back (at least two to three meters away).

Anything blocking the air intakes and vents should definitely be moved away, too. Also, make sure to throw away any used air filters so that they’re not just clogging up your unit.

In the end, it’s always best to leave furnace repair to the professionals. The best thing you can do as a homeowner is to create an optimal working environment for them. You can also invest in regular furnace maintenance to keep your unit clean and functional at all times. This can make it easier for the professional to spot the problem.

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