Old Furnace Broken in Mid-Winter? Here’s What to Do

When your home’s elderly furnace decides that today, in the middle of winter, is the day to fail, it’s not fun. Depending on the outdoor temperature, your first concern may be staying warm. You can find tips around the internet for temporary ways for your family to keep warm until the heating problem is resolved. Our local winter temperatures usually don’t make this a huge emergency, but you don’t want to feel uncomfortable for long.

What we’re looking at in this post isn’t how to stay warm in the meantime, but what to do about the failed furnace and the future of your home comfort.


1. Safety first!

Does your furnace run from natural gas? If so, the first step when the furnace fails is to shut off the gas line to the heater. You’ll find a valve near the igniter/pilot light; turn it to shut off the gas. Now you won’t have to worry that the system breakdown will create safety hazards.

2. Check to see if the furnace is really broken

If the furnace is more than 15 years old, it’s easy to assume that when it stops working, that’s it. It’s done. But this isn’t always the case. Here are checks to make that may get the furnace working again:

  • See if the thermostat settings are correct.
  • Open the electrical panel to see if a circuit breaker has tripped. If you reset it, and the furnace comes on only to trip the breaker again, you have a repair issue.
  • Change a clogged air filter for a clean one.

3. Call professional HVAC technicians to inspect the system

Now is the point to reach out to professional technicians to see what’s wrong with the furnace and if repairs can restore it. Only rely on a licensed HVAC contractor to deal with a broken furnace. Amateurs not only won’t do a good job, but they may also try to scam you into an expensive service you don’t need.

4. Decide on repairs or a replacement

The experts have given your furnace a thorough check and provided you with a diagnosis and recommendations. For a furnace older than 15 years, replacement is always a viable option, even if repairs can restore the system. If the technicians quote a repair price of more than 50% of the cost of a new furnace, that’s too much. The technicians can also provide an estimate on how many more years the furnace has left to help you decide if it’s worth putting more money into it rather than starting over with a new unit. The technicians will offer different furnace choices to match your budget and help you make the choice.

5. Schedule the replacement and consider your options

If you decide on a new furnace, arrange for a time with the technicians. You can start thinking about the options for a new furnace. Do you want to invest in a high-efficiency system, such as a condensing furnace? Or is a mid-efficiency furnace a better fit? The technicians will be glad to assist you.

Our expert HVAC team is available to help with your broken furnace in Austin, TX. Schedule repairs or a replacement today.

The intelligent choice today makes cents tomorrow! iAir Services serves the Greater Austin Area – contact us today!