Furnace went out need some suggestions please


Natural gas. We had a company come and repair it although the repair didn’t last longer than a week and cost us $500. They started it was the circuit board so they ordered the part and installed it. Now it won’t even turn on. Previously it would run albeit without heat. Even though furnace had a low-pressure switch alarm.


Also, this idea of “replacing the furnace” is nuts, no offense.

I mean, it’s a major part of your house. You don’t just buy a new one when it breaks. You get it fixed. It likely isn’t gonna cost thousands of dollars.

Ok, so i see that it’s natural gas. First thing worth checking… Did you check the circuit breakers? Also, after that, other fuses on the system. There may be some fuses in weird places too, like if they have a remote shutoff switch (often near the kitchen).

Also, if the repair folks just did work on it, and it broke again, there may be some warranty on their work. Often, companies will give you a warranty against breakdowns for some period after they do their work.


The furnace attempts to run but alarms prevent it from truly running.


We called the company and they stated repairs could cost about 1500 to fix the problem. Unbelievable I thought. Also, this company messed up and bought the wrong circuit board initially. So we won’t be having any more work done by them (seems as if they don’t know what the problem is) especially since the repair didn’t last longer than a week.


Hmm, what kind of alarms is it doing? A lot of times, furnaces will have a beep code (like a PC) or a light code that shows what kind of fault there is.

Sometimes, you need to take off the front panel to see the lights.

If you can see a fault code, you might be able to look up the furnace model online and see what the rough issue is.

I wouldn’t generally recommend fixing it yourself though unless it’s a blown fuse… But it might give you an idea of what the repairman would need to do.

Also, in terms of the heating company, is it the same company who installed and serviced the furnace for the prior owners? If not, you may want to talk to those guys (their info is likely somewhere near the furnace, if not on it). Sometimes, that company has guys who actually have personal history with the system.

Yeah, don’t use those guys. They sound like idiots. I’m guessing they aren’t the original company who serviced the system?


For the future:

The gas company when I lived in NJ could be paid each year and if anything broke they would fix it. It was not expensive like 100 dollars a year (IIRC - been a long time). Best thing I ever did because the furnace broke several times when living there and they fixed it each time (literally replacing every gizmo one time to get it working).


Yeah, the natural gas company where we live also does repairs, and you can put them on your bill and pay them off over time, though that could be credit-related.


If it is a low pressure issue, is it possible that your ducts are clogged somewhere? Is your filter dirty? Are you near any of the flood related areas of WI? I know that there are loan options for homes in certain areas for repairs, I don’t know if furnace function would count, but something to look into?

(We were lucky, our house was not on the west side of Madison that got 13 inches of rain overnight.)


Another source of pressure issues - if your unit has either an intake pipe (most reasonably modern gas furnaces) or both intake and exhaust (newer high-efficiency ones): check for obstructions. Bird nest, dead squirrel, leaves, anything.


So frustrating. Sorry about that. I’d only suggest to pursue it anyway, in case you end up qualifying after all. I had a situation once where my pay stubs and tax returns told two stories due to timing with a job change, and they were able to determine income based on the one that was most favorable for me. Hopefully the advice from others to repair or jury-rig it pans out as that’d be best.


No, they are not the company who serviced in past. But, it was an emergency and they were the only people with an opening though so we hired them. I’ve looked into the codes furnace is kicking out and it is definitely not a DIY task. Did some digging and alliant energy has incentives for a lot of different stuff. One of the incentives is for a furnace $500 off. That will help tremendously. Thanks for all the tips btw everyone. I’ve been boiling water still and run the oven every now and again. Have 2 space heaters running on low able to keep any room with water above 45°. One in the basement. Other is on the first floor. We have another company coming to give us an estimate tomorrow(well in six hours). 60,000 BTU furnace we’re hoping no more than $2,500 out of pocket.


How old is your current furnace?


Good luck, Jeff. That is definitely a frustrating thing to go through.

We actually replaced our 33 year old furnace a few years ago and have had nothing but trouble with it, which isn’t uncommon from what I have been hearing on some newer models. Sometimes things just aren’t made like they used to.

Ours indeed was flashing a code, which I looked up. And it was in line with what I was seeing and experiencing. It is also a natural gas, forced air furnace and would fire the burner, but the flame detector would not reliably sense it. It would gradually get worse the longer it went and we would have to have the service guy come out multiple times a year to pull a motor out to access the flame detector, and clean it. One time they even replaced it, but within a couple months it was back to cycling and eventually shutting off for a period when it wouldn’t sense a flame. Normally, this was enough to keep the place mostly warm, but it was a major pain in the ass. Finally, after three years, the service guy finally said the company had a replacement board, replaced that, and now it has been working ever since. My thinking is they changed the threshold of the sensing requirement for the flame detection, or some timing issue, but at least it is working now.

What is the code telling you, Jeff?


Great question. Furnace should last 15-20 years. If you are heading into that territory, a replacement might start to make sense.


15 years old installed in 2005


Paying $365 for the circuit board currently getting installed. If it doesn’t work then obviously taking other route.


At 15, it’s at least reasonable to replace the furnace, but even then it’s at the early side of needing to be replaced. I was worried that you were replacing it well before it’s lifetime was up.

Even so, you are on the very early edge of normal lifetimes. Like misguided said, the average lifetime is 15-20 years.

Here’s to hoping the circuit board does it though.


Furnace is operational. Woohoo. Got plenty of time to save money. Going to get that home warranty ASAP.