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Expert offers furnace repair tips during cold months

Posted at 8:13 PM, Jan 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-07 20:28:58-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- With the frigid temperatures that are only going to get colder in the next few days, furnace repair people are busy fixing broken heating systems all around west Michigan.

Jacobson Heating and Cooling in Grand Rapids said that they are working extra hours to accommodate all of the repairs to make sure no one gets left in the cold.

Tom Vanderson at Jacobson Heating and Cooling in Grand Rapids said that it's their busy season with technicians working around the clock making house calls to repair broken furnaces.

"We go out and we check on your furnace. Check the filters, the oil lubrication of the furnace. We can check to see if there might be any potential problems that might arise before it gets really cold," said Vanderson.

Vanderson said that there are some simple things you can do before calling the professionals.

"Basically if the homeowner has no heat, their furnace is not working at all, they have no power to the furnace, first thing they want to do is look down here and check this little fuse down here," said Vanderson.

Vanderson said that you can have the fuse tested at a hardware store, and that it can easily be replaced.

Something else that could be a quick fix is replacing your filter, which may need to be changed more often than you think.

"There's usually a filter along the side. What you want to do is that you want to take this out about every month, every two months you want to change this filter. That way your furnace can run at optimum efficiency. And if it gets really bad and you forget you have a filter, it can actually make your furnace not work at all," said Vanderson.

According to Vanderson, it’s also important to make sure snow doesn’t plug up your PBC pipes outside your house to make sure your furnace can vent properly.

A more expensive repair is the heat exchanger, which might require you to buy a new furnace completely, but Vanderson said that it’s worth the expense when you compare the safety risk.

Jacobson Heating and Cooling also said that furnaces now days have a lot more moving parts because the systems are a lot more computerized than in the past.