We rely on our furnaces to keep us safe and warm throughout the long winter months, but emergency furnace repair services can pop up from time to time. When temperatures drop below zero and snow drifts start to pile up, a functional, dependable furnace is a lifesaver. But a malfunctioning furnace or HVAC can put us (and our families) in potentially life-threatening situations—from house fires to carbon monoxide poisoning.

In general, furnaces are totally safe, and safety issues are rare. However, occasionally, a furnace problem can arise and lead to more serious emergencies that can cause some damage to your wallet, health, and home. Fortunately, there are “symptoms” to watch out for. We created a list of five warning signs that you may need emergency repair services. If you notice any of these issues, call our team for an emergency furnace repair to keep your home safe and toasty warm. Our team specializes in Bozeman HVAC repair services, and we can help quickly diagnose and resolve furnace emergencies. In case of an emergency, contact us here or call our Mountain Heating & Cooling team at (406) 586-4007.

5 Signs You Need an Emergency Furnace Repair

Sign #1 — Your furnace is running improperly

Is your furnace cycling too quickly, turning on and off when it should run more continuously, or not shutting off the fan? Maybe your furnace is only blowing cold air or won’t turn on at all. If these problems are not being caused by a thermostat setting issue (like the fan being set to “on” rather than “auto”), it’s time to call an HVAC repairman. A professional can quickly diagnose and fix the issue, whether it’s a mechanical problem, an electrical failure, a thermostat issue, or something with the furnace itself.

Sign #2 — There’s a strange or unpleasant smell coming from the furnace or vents

A musty or “off” odor could be caused by a simple issue with an easy fix, such as replacing the air filter or getting the ducts cleaned. But smells like smoke, rotten eggs, burning plastic, metal, or chemicals are often signs that it’s time to reach out to an emergency furnace repair professional.

A Rotten egg or a sulfur-like smell is a major indicator of furnace issues since this smell often indicates a natural gas leak. Because natural gas is odorless, gas companies add a harmless chemical called mercaptan to ensure leaks are easy to detect. Natural gas leaks can cause fires or explosions with little warning. So if you smell this odor, leave the house with your family and pets right away, and don’t turn lights on and off or plug things in (sparks can be dangerous with this combustible gas). Once you’re safely away from the house, call your utility company and the fire department, and they will tell you what to do next.

Other smells may indicate major furnace issues but don’t carry as much immediate danger. For example, a metallic smell might mean your furnace is overheating. If you smell a burning metallic odor from your furnace, turn it off and call an HVAC repair technician. A chemical or formaldehyde-like smell could be a sign of cracks in the furnace’s heat exchanger. Contact a professional HVAC repairman immediately to ensure there’s no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or other issues.

Sign #3 — The furnace has a yellow or orange flame instead of blue.

When a natural gas furnace is functioning correctly, the pilot light will appear blue. Efficient combustion creates a hot, blue flame, often with a light blue triangle at its center. This indicates that a furnace is in good working order with complete gas combustion.

If a pilot flame is yellow or orange, that can indicate incomplete or ineffective combustion. This might happen with an older furnace nearing the end of its lifespan, or it might just mean a furnace is due for a cleaning, part replacement, or repair. Sustained yellow or orange flames can indicate the possibility of a carbon monoxide leak. In these cases, it’s best to turn off your HVAC system and contact a Bozeman HVAC repairman.

Sign #4 — You notice puddles, steam, or condensation around the furnace

Is your furnace creating steam, condensation, or pooling water? Any of these symptoms mean that the furnace or boiler has sprung a leak or has a valve issue. A properly functioning furnace will not create condensation—modern furnaces use cooling exhaust to increase their energy efficiency, and the moisture gets vented away before it has a chance to condense and pool up. But a puddle means it’s time for furnace repair. Typically, this type of issue can be easily resolved, but if it traces back to the heat exchanger, it can be a more serious problem.

Sign #5 — A carbon monoxide detector is going off

Any time a carbon monoxide detector goes off, it’s vital to pay attention, take it seriously, and take safe action. If ignored or unnoticed, carbon monoxide can cause sickness and even death. Every year, it kills hundreds of people and makes thousands of others ill. If your detector has been triggered, it may be due to any number of issues—whatever the cause, it’s critical to get the problem addressed immediately and schedule an emergency furnace repair.

Your Trusted Bozeman Heating and Cooling Specialists for Emergency Furnace Repair

When your furnace is malfunctioning or you notice any of these warning signs, we recommend reaching out to the professionals immediately. Scheduling emergency heating repairs is more than a matter of comfort and convenience; it’s key to keeping you, your family, and your house safe.

We recommend seasonal HVAC checkups and routine cleanings to help prevent furnace emergencies before they happen. With all home systems, it’s normal for equipment and components to deteriorate over the years, but proactive maintenance can help prevent avoidable failures. If you are wondering if your furnace is due for a checkup, reach out to get scheduled with a pro from Mountain Heating & Cooling.

Our experienced Bozeman HVAC repair technicians specialize in accurately diagnosing and repairing all types of furnace issues. Mountain Heating & Cooling works hard to provide prompt and professional service — because should an emergency arise, you deserve the peace of mind that you’re well taken care of. We are always here to help with any issue, large or small.