My furnace won’t turn on! What’s happening?

It’s always during the coldest time of the year that furnaces and heating appliances choose to stop functioning. Whether it’s because of the increased demand, old parts, old appliances, or otherwise, furnaces like to pick the worst times to break down. What’s better than having a non-working furnace (or poorly working one) on a 4 degree day?

While you can always take advantage of our 24 hour, 365 day a year service, we may have some tips to help you get back up and running in a pinch.

1. Check your power

This means checking to make sure your breaker didn’t trip in your electrical box. Make sure you know which breaker belongs to your furnace and make sure it’s in the “on” position. Sometimes breakers look like they’re on but rather they’re in a “trip” position. To be safe, shut off the breaker then turn it back on.

2. Check your thermostat

It sounds silly but maybe you’ve forgotten what you’ve programmed into your thermostat, or perhaps you have an old thermostat that isn’t functioning. You can always swap it out fairly easily with a newer thermostat and take advantage of some great upgrade options such as Nest smart home automation or more options for programmability.

You can also attempt to switch your thermostat fan setting from AUTO to ON. If you hear or see your fan/blower motor begin running, you may have a problem with your furnace not firing rather than the system not working at all.

TIP: If you have a setback thermostat, be very careful not to set it back too much in very cold weather. This is when it needs “run time” to keep up with demand.

3. Check your furnace filter

An extremely dirty air filter can cause your furnace to labor hard or not at all. Make sure you’ve checked the air filter and made sure there weren’t any blockages. Swap out grey looking air filters for new ones. Remember that air filters are used to help keep your furnace and ductwork clean on the inside. This helps maintain high efficiency and reduce break-downs.

4. Reset the power to your furnace

This is a short-term trick to force your system to try again. You might get lucky and get it work until the repairman gets there. Remember, if it failed once, something is going on with it and it still needs to be looked at.

5. Check the switch beside the furnace

The furnace has a power switch next to it. Make sure that is in the “on” position. Sometimes you may bump it, flip it to off to inspect something and forget to turn it back on. Animals and children could also unknowingly flip the switch to “off”.

Still no heat?


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