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What to do if Your Furnace Goes Out

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

Having your furnace go out is never a planned scenario, but there are ways to prepare for it. Iowa winters can get cold. It is essential to be prepared and knowledgeable about what to do when situations like these do pop up for the sake of your safety and comfort.

Step 1: Turn Off Your Gas

If you have a gas furnace, this is an essential step to take immediately. This is important because your furnace could have failed due to a gas leak or valve malfunction. A gas leak can lead to the people in your household inhaling toxins and increases the risk for a fire. To turn the gas on your furnace off, locate your home’s main gas service valve. It is typically found next to your gas meter.

Step 2: Check For Simple Solutions

Before getting too worried, it’s always good practice to check for simple solutions. Check to see if your electricity is working by flipping on a light. You can also try switching the breaker in case the problem is due to a tripped breaker. Lastly, check your thermostat to make sure it is working correctly and switched to heat.

Step 3: Schedule an Appointment

If you still can’t find the problem, it is time to call your local heating and cooling company. You should do this right away to ensure that you get an appointment as soon as possible. Heating and cooling companies do get busier during the winter, so below are a couple of ways you can stay warm in the meantime.

Step 4: Keep Everything Closed

While your heater is not working, you should keep all doors and windows closed. The goal is to trap as much remaining heat as possible until you can get your heater fixed. Opening doors and windows will only let heat out while no new heat is being distributed. If you have a garage, it is best to go outside that way to avoid direct heat loss.

Step 6: Staying Warm

If you are starting to feel cold, you can use a fireplace or space heater to stay warm. Depending on how big your home is, this should be able to heat up at least the space that is being occupied. If you have layers of clothing and blankets, you should keep these nearby for extra comfort. Instead of ordering out, cook a meal at home. Cooking soup or baking something slowly will heat up your home and it will create some extra warmth while you are eating.

An Important Note!

If your house is less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it is not safe for you to stay for days at a time. If you have pets, children or elderly people in your home, temperatures below 64 degrees Fahrenheit can be dangerous. Staying in these conditions can put you at risk of hypothermia. Even if it doesn’t feel too cold, watch your thermostat to make sure you know when it may be time to move somewhere else short term until your heater is fixed.

If you run into any heating problems this year, give us a call! You can reach us at 515-965-7272 or visit for more information.

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