Did you know that oceans experienced record-warm temperatures this year around the globe? This could alter El Niño and the weather like we’ve never seen before.

Although the northern U.S. sees warmer than average temperatures during an El Niño winter, random cold weather spikes are often unpredictable.

When cold weather hits, residents start using their furnaces continuously. After being off for parts of the year, furnaces up and running suddenly can have problems.

What do you do as a property manager if your residents need emergency furnace repair? Keep reading to find out what you should know from signs of an emergency to maintenance.

Do You Need Emergency Furnace Repair?

Blue Furnace Flame - Emergency Furnace Repair

As a property manager, it’s important that you can identify the signs that you need emergency furnace repairs. Residents can relay concerns about their system to you, but they might not know how serious a problem is.

When a resident calls in a furnace problem, you can check it out and look for signs that you need to bring in a professional contractor for repairs.

Yellow Flame in the Furnace

A furnace isn’t burning hot enough if the pilot light displays a yellow or orange flame. A blue flame is always what you want to see. This indicates that the furnace isn’t operating as it should and might cause a carbon monoxide leak.

Carbon monoxide leaks are serious and can lead to health problems and even death. It’s important that your residents leave the property until the issue is taken care of by professional HVAC repair services.

Additionally, you know there is a problem that requires immediate action when a carbon monoxide detector goes off multiple times.

Fan Won’t Shut Off

If residents are complaining that the furnace fan won’t shut off, it might be due to human error. First, check that the thermostat is set to “auto” and not “on.”

If the thermostat is set to “auto” as it should be but the fan continuously runs, the furnace and the thermostat aren’t communicating properly.

This connection problem requires repairs from your HVAC technician because it could be a mechanical failure or an electrical issue.

Warm Air Isn’t Coming From the Vents

An obvious sign of emergency furnace problems is when warm air isn’t coming from the vents. If the furnace doesn’t crank out hot air, the burner or the pilot light might be out.

Before colder temperatures hit, have a furnace technician check out this problem because it won’t fix itself.

Additionally, if residents start noticing more dust in their rentals, something might be wrong with your furnace. When a furnace ages, it has to work harder to meet the demands of a rental.

An unusual amount of dust could mean the furnace filter is clogged with dander and dust. This is an easier fix and something a property manager could learn to do themselves.

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Furnace Maintenance for Longevity


If you want to avoid a prematurely broken furnace and increase the lifespan of these systems, it’s important to conduct regular furnace maintenance. Preventative maintenance is key to efficient operation.

Property managers should complete rental property inspections regularly to check if a furnace needs maintenance. When a resident moves out, it’s ideal to call furnace specialists for a routine inspection and other maintenance tasks.

Routine Inspection and Cleaning

Good furnace maintenance starts with regular inspections and cleaning. These tasks involve examining the components of a furnace for signs of damage such as rust or cracks.

Cleaning the vents, flue, and blower assembly can also help eliminate obstructions that can hamper the efficiency of a furnace. Improper handling of the different components can lead to further damage so always hire an HVAC professional.

Air Filter Inspection and Replacement

An air filter is a critical component of a furnace. It traps particulates like dust and dander to prevent them from entering a unit’s air.

During a routine furnace inspection, inspect the air filter as well to see if it needs to be replaced.

A clogged air filter will restrict airflow and force the system to work harder. This can lead to higher energy bills and cause premature damage over time.

During the heating season, it’s important to check air filters monthly. Because your system doesn’t have to work as hard with a new air filter, you are making your furnace more eco-friendly.

Furnace Belt Inspection

The furnace belt is responsible for transferring power over to different components from the motor. These belts become frayed or worn over time which can cause malfunctions and negatively impact furnace efficiency.

HVAC technicians will inspect the furnace belts regularly and replace them when needed.

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HVAC Maintenance Contract

Property managers should consider opting for HVAC maintenance contracts for their properties. These agreements cover various things from preventative maintenance to priority service.

Depending on your agreement, your contract might cover the following:

  • Annual maintenance and cleaning
  • Labor
  • Minor parts
  • Supplies
  • Emergency service calls

Major parts are generally not included in these contracts but they might be offered at a discount to contract holders.

You should opt for service contracts in advance for your rental property. When the time comes for equipment maintenance, HVAC providers will contact you. Even more beneficial, you know you’ll have a professional show up in emergencies.

The great thing about these contracts is that they aren’t only for furnace repairs and emergencies. With the right HVAC provider, you can write up a contract that covers the entire HVAC system, not just the furnace.

Emergency Furnace Repair Made Simple

As a property manager, it’s important to know the ins and outs of emergency furnace repair. Now that you know the common signs that furnace repair is needed and how to maintain the furnace, you can develop a plan of action.

Finding reliable contractors to outsource emergency furnace repair and other HVAC tasks is the first step. To find reliable furnace technicians, try BidSource, the powerful tool with over 10,000 qualified contractors.

Get started with professional furnace inspections and maintenance when you check out BidSource for free.

FAQs: Emergency Furnace Repair

What is considered an emergency furnace repair?

Emergency furnace repair refers to urgent situations where the furnace is either not functioning correctly or poses potential safety risks, such as carbon monoxide leaks. Immediate attention is required to ensure the safety and comfort of residents.

How can I identify signs that I need an emergency furnace repair?

Common signs include a yellow or orange flame in the furnace, which should ideally be blue, indicating a potential carbon monoxide issue. Other indicators are a fan that won’t shut off, a lack of warm air coming from the vents, and multiple triggers from a carbon monoxide detector.

How often should a furnace be inspected to prevent emergencies?

Regular inspections are key to avoiding unexpected issues. It’s recommended to have a professional HVAC technician inspect your furnace at least once a year, preferably before the colder months, to ensure it’s operating efficiently and safely.

Can a clogged air filter lead to an emergency furnace situation?

Yes, a clogged air filter can restrict airflow, forcing the system to work harder. This can not only increase energy bills but also lead to premature damage and potential furnace emergencies. Checking air filters monthly, especially during the heating season, is crucial.

What should I do if I suspect a carbon monoxide leak from my furnace?

If you suspect a carbon monoxide leak, immediately evacuate the property and call for professional HVAC repair services. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless but can lead to serious health issues, so it’s essential to address the problem without delay.

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