A man trying to stay warm in cold weather.

A heating emergency can happen any time. When it does, you need to get your system fixed before it gets worse or causes other issues. The Seider Heating, Plumbing & Electrical pros are sharing the most common signs that you’re headed for a breakdown, and how to handle a furnace emergency.

No heat

If you lose some or all heat during the winter, call a professional right away. This situation could become dangerous if someone in your home has health issues or if the system isn’t venting properly. Your home is also at risk because pipes can freeze and burst as the temperature drops.

While you’re waiting for a repairman, layer up with sweatshirts, hats, extra socks, and blankets. You should also close curtains to keep heat inside and gather your family in one room, where you can run a space heater to stay warm. Do NOT use a grill, oven, or kerosene heater—these options are dangerous and can be deadly.

A trained technician can tell you what’s wrong with your system and if they can fix it. If you need a replacement, most companies—including Seider—will loan you space heaters to protect your home and family until the new system can be installed. Having a company that you trust is vital to stay safe and comfortable in spite of an emergency.

Strange odors

If you notice a strange odor coming from your furnace, it’s easy to blame a dirty air filter or dusty ductwork. But the truth is, some smells mean a bigger issue is at play. If your furnace is giving off chemical, electrical, rotten egg, or smoky fumes, you need professional attention. Any one of these can indicate a major problem, like a cracked heat exchanger, gas leak, burning wires, or blocked chimney. Don’t ignore these signs—call for emergency service right away.

Cold or weak airflow

Anytime your furnace blows cold air instead of hot—or if it’s barely running at all—you need an expert to do a thorough inspection. Your furnace might be on its last leg or need an emergency repair to keep it going. Call your trusted comfort provider for an accurate diagnosis and repair that fixes the problem correctly the first time.

Your technician will also check for these common signs:

  • Pilot light color—if it’s yellow, there could be a carbon monoxide leak
  • Strange noises—popping, grinding, and squeaking mean a part is loose or broken
  • Excess dust—your ductwork may be full of dust, inhibiting airflow

The best advice our experts have in any heating emergency is to remain calm. Take note of your furnace’s symptoms, then call a reputable heating company. Keep in mind that the experts at Seider offer 24-hour emergency service, and will be there when you need us. In addition to Carrier® furnaces, we service all makes and models of heating systems, so if a repair is possible, we can do it on the spot.