What If the Furnace Sounds Loud or Breaks Down on a Holiday?

December 22, 2022

If your furnace sounds loud during a holiday gathering, it can certainly ruin the festive mood. And there’s never a convenient time for a furnace breakdown. The holiday season is the worst time to deal with a heating failure. Friends, family, and other guests may need thick blankets instead of a tasty meal and fun gifts. 

But don’t lose hope; we’ll tell you what to do if your furnace sounds loud, or worse, breaks down during the holidays.

What to Do Depends on the Noise

A humming noise is only a concern if it gets increasingly louder. In that case, the blower fan or capacitor may need to be repaired by a professional. But what if the furnace starts banging, rattling, shrieking, or rumbling loudly during a holiday gathering?

If you hear the following sounds, it’s best to take action sooner rather than later:

  • Whistling: It is most likely time to change the air filter. 

  • Popping: Temperature changes are causing movement in air ducts or dirty burners may need to be cleaned.

  • Banging: An ignition or gas pressure problem may be occurring in the furnace.

  • Scraping: A blower wheel may be loose or ball bearings are worn out.

  • Rattling/Rumbling: Loose furnace components may be vibrating.

  • Shrieking: A motor belt may be damaged.

Call a professional for an inspection or repair if your furnace sounds loud before more damage occurs.

What Happens If My Furnace Breaks Down?

The holiday season is undoubtedly the worst time for a heater to break down. There’s no guarantee you’ll get a technician out to your home quickly. At Service Champions, we’re open 7 days a week (including holidays) and provide priority service and discounted repairs to members of our MVP Program. 

Whenever your furnace stops working, don’t panic. Follow these steps even before you call a contractor:

  • Turn Off the Gas Supply: Shut the gas valve as soon as the furnace goes out. Natural gas is flammable and toxic, so turning it off can avoid a holiday disaster. If you notice a rotten egg odor, evacuate the building and call your local gas utility.

  • Check the Circuit Breaker: If you have an electric furnace that has shut off, check the circuit breaker at the main electrical panel. Flip the breaker back on if it has tripped. Call for help if the breaker won’t turn on or trips again soon after.

  • Clean or Change the Air Filter: A clogged filter can cause the heating system to turn off automatically. Examine the filter to see if it’s dirty or clogged; if so, install a new filter and see if the system works. Changing filters regularly can avoid expensive furnace failures.

  • Adjust the Thermostat: Adjusting the temperature by a few degrees may get the furnace to kick in. If necessary, switch the thermostat to “heat” mode and make sure the fan is switched on. A lack of power or a dead battery can cause the thermostat to stop working, so check for and address these issues if needed.

How to Reach a Furnace Repair Contractor on a Holiday

Many HVAC contractors provide emergency services during the holidays. But not all do, so it’s important to have the number of a company that is available. A furnace breakdown is uncomfortable and unsafe no matter when it occurs. Remember, never attempt to disassemble and repair the unit yourself. That can cause more damage, greater expenses, or worse, a gas leak.

Contact Service Champions

At Service Champions, our heating repair specialists in Northern California are always ready to help. We’ve been addressing homeowners’ needs since 2003. Our guarantee means we’ll fix it right the first time, or your next visit is free. We’ll also issue a full refund if you’re not 100% satisfied with our service.

If your furnace sounds loud or breaks down this holiday season, you can count on Service Champions to fix it right; call 833-600-0991 to request help today.

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