Heating your home is a winter necessity. When furnaces and heat pumps break down, the only option is a speedy repair job. The good news: some problems are safe and simple to solve. Before contacting a service company, look for the problems you can fix yourself.

Power Switch

If you have a power switch next to your furnace, the switch can be mistaken for a light switch. If you have guests who are unfamiliar with your home, this switch is more likely to be flipped. Make sure it is on. Before starting any repairs, turn the switch off.


Anything from an accidental brush against the dial, to a loose wire can cause the thermostat to malfunction. Check the batteries on digital thermostats, and replace if necessary. Make sure the thermostat is set and programmed to your desired temperature, and is set to heat. If this does not work, remove the unit from the wall and clear the area of dust and other debris. Make sure the two wires (one for heating, and one for air conditioning) are securely connected.

Circuit Breakers

During power outages from winter storms, some electronics short when power is restored. Try flipping the circuit breaker to your furnace completely off and then back on again to get the electric current running again.

Owner’s Manual

Consult your furnace owner’s manual or visit the manufacturer website for information about your specific model. Most model names and numbers are found on the front of the machine. Your owner manual can guide you through:

  • Replacing your filter
  • Checking and re-lighting your pilot light
  • Unclogging intake and exhaust vents
  • Replacing broken belts in the furnace motor

Vent Registers

Check the supply vents in each room. At least 80% of the registers in your home should be open. If only a few rooms in the house are not receiving heat, the problem could be in the duct system.

When To Call a Service Company

If the steps listed above don’t do the trick, contact a professional heating contractor for advanced problems with your furnace. Some of the problems you shouldn’t tackle yourself:

  • Furnace motor isn’t running properly
  • Furnace isn’t providing any heat
  • Furnace is turning on and off
  • Furnace is leaking gas (evacuate and call for repair as quickly as possible)

If your furnace still does not function properly, Bradbury Brothers can help. Give us a call at 281-651-5484 or contact us online and schedule your service.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Bradbury Brothers services most of southern Montgomery County including The Woodlands, Conroe, Magnolia, Montgomery, Oak Ridge North, Pinehurst, Shenandoah as well as northern Harris county including Cypress, Klein, Spring and Tomball.