Common Winter Furnace Emergencies

Don’t let a furnace emergency leave you in the cold

Central Ohio is in the throes of winter right now, so the furnaces are cranked, but a winter furnace emergency can hit at the worst times. You want to make sure that your heating system is running properly and safely to get you through the cold months. Atlas Butler offers furnace safety inspections and tuneups along with maintenance services. To ensure peace of mind for you and your family, here are some common winter furnace emergencies plus some safety tips and action steps if you feel that your furnace is malfunctioning.

Carbon monoxide

Whenever you are dealing with a gas furnace, especially an older one, there is the risk of carbon monoxide leakage. That’s why it’s important to make sure your ventilation system is in good working order. That means that ductwork should be intact and not rusting and corroded. If you see water around the furnace area, that’s a tip that your furnace needs attention. Also, make sure that your home has working CO2 monitors.

Electrical issues

In addition to natural gas, your furnace is powered by electricity. Oftentimes, when you first turn your furnace on for the season, you may smell a burning odor. That’s usually dust burning off after the unit has been dormant during the spring and summer. However, if you smell a burning electrical smell while your furnace is in operation, shut the system and breaker off and call for service. If it’s an emergency situation, call 911.

Gas leaks

If you smell gas, evacuate immediately and call either 911 or the gas company. Once they have assessed the situation and determined it’s safe, then go ahead and call us. We’ll come out and figure out the problem and whether it’s in your furnace or your gas line.

Furnace isn’t running

There are a number of reasons that may cause your furnace to not kick on, but when its 5 degrees outside, none of those reasons really matter. You need prompt service from an HVAC company that will fix it right and get your home warm again. 

We Service Furnace Emergencies

Atlas Butler is available 24/7/365, including weekends and holidays and there are never any overtime or after-hours charges. We have proudly served Central Ohio for more than 100 years, and our clients can attest to our responsiveness and professionalism. Call us at 614-681-2167 to schedule an emergency furnace appointment.

2022-02-13T16:27:13-05:00January 27th, 2022|Furnace Maintenance, HVAC Topics|

How to Safely Supplement Your Furnace Heat

Tips for heating cold zones in your home

Winter made an early arrival in many parts of the nation, and this preview may have you thinking about how you’re going to keep your house warm when winter really sets in. Ohio winters can be unpredictable and harsh, so it’s a good idea to start planning for colder days now. If you have specific zones in your house that are cold, even when the furnace is running, you may want to look into some supplemental heating sources. The service team at Atlas Butler can help you prepare for winter by doing an inspection and tune-up of your furnace, as well as recommend supplemental heating systems.


There is nothing more relaxing than a crackling fireplace in the winter. Fireplaces can help heat rooms as well as lend a cozy ambiance. Traditional wood-burning fireplaces require annual maintenance for safety and functionality, and the chimney also needs inspection and cleaning in order to avoid chimney fires. If you don’t have a fireplace in your house, there are ways you can “fake it.” Gas and electric fireplaces can also add heat without the mess and upkeep of their traditional counterparts. Wood-burning fireplaces can be converted to gas and as a plus, gas fireplaces actually add more warmth to your rooms. The downside is increased gas or electric bills, depending on which model you choose.

Space heaters

Space heaters often get a bad rap because they are one of the most prevalent causes of winter house fires. However, if you use common sense and take safety precautions, a space heater can be a satisfactory and economical source of extra heating for your home. There are various types of space heaters.

  • Convection space heaters are the most common, and they heat up and disperse air throughout the room, are fan-driven and run on electricity.
  • Radiant space heaters heat up the element itself and “radiates” heat; they are better suited for small areas. Filled space heaters run on electricity and are filled with a substance, such as oil. Once they heat up, they will warm the area for longer periods of time compared to other space heaters.

Pellet stoves

Pellet stoves are the next generation of wood-burning stoves. Depending on the size, one of these stoves can heat an entire house. They burn organic wood-based pellets that emit clean energy. Pellet stoves are often less expensive than fireplaces and are easier to install. The drawbacks are that they need ongoing maintenance, such as being filled and cleaned out on a daily basis. They also require annual servicing.

Keep Your Furnace Running Smoothly

The goal of supplemental heat sources should always be to supplement the heat that your furnace puts out – not replace it. If your furnace is not working properly, the supplemental heat will be less effective and cost you more. Atlas Butler has been proudly serving Central Ohio for decades, and we can make sure that your furnace is running properly.  Schedule an appointment to have one of our heating technicians take a look at your furnace or call us at 614-681-2167.

2022-04-27T00:57:18-04:00December 21st, 2021|Furnace Maintenance|

Tips For Keeping Your Heat Pump Running Year Round

Even though it’s called a heat pump, your heat pump plays a vital role in keeping your home comfortable all year round. In winter, a heat pump moves heat from one location to another, usually from the air or ground and transfers it throughout a house or building. During the late spring, summer and early fall, the heat pump operates in reverse and cools your home. It’s the same concept — except the warm inside air blows through refrigerant-filled coils and the cooled air is distributed throughout your house. Heat pumps are more efficient than traditional HVAC systems as they don’t have to heat the air in order to warm your house, and you also don’t need separate heating and cooling systems.

Keeping Your Heat Pump Running

Like any other major home system, in order to get the best performance out of your heat pump, you need to stick to a regular maintenance schedule; usually spring and fall. That’s where the HVAC professionals at Atlas Butler can help. We will assess your heating and cooling needs, help you choose the best heat pump for you home, and advise you on how to get the best performance from it year-round. If you haven’t had your heat pump serviced in a while, contact our team to schedule an appointment

Here is what type of heat pump maintenance is performed:

  • Check motors and capacitors
  • Check air ducts, coils, blowers and indoor coil to make sure they are clear of debris
  • Check air ducts and refrigerant levels for leakage
  • Make sure the thermostat is working correctly
  • Check all electrical components
  • Test all safety controls

Between maintenance visits, there are several things that you, as a home owner, can do to keep your heat pump in top shape:

  • Change your air filter every month
  • Make sure that indoor registers are free of dust and debris
  • Remove foliage and brush from around the outdoor unit
  • During the winter, keep the heat pump clear of snow and ice
  • Schedule regular maintenance

Another tip to ensure optimal performance from your heat pump is to install a programmable thermostat to maintain a consistent indoor temperature. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended settings, but a general rule of thumb is to not go below 70 degrees in the summer and below 65 degrees in the winter. The service team at Atlas Butler is very familiar with the climate in Central Ohio and can give you the best advice about your thermostat settings.

Considering a heat pump?

A new heat pump is a good investment because it will pay for itself over time through savings on your heating and cooling bills.  In addition, you only have the upkeep of one system to deal with, which reduces costs — and headaches! If you are thinking of switching to a heat pump, Atlas Butler installs energy efficient heat pumps. We have proudly served the Central Ohio for decades and can help you select the best heat pump to keep your home comfortable during the scorching summers and brutal winters. Our motto through the years has been “Strength Through Service,” and we stand by it today. Call us at 614-681-2167.


2021-12-09T11:53:29-05:00August 27th, 2020|Furnace Maintenance, home energy efficiency|
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