In the dead of winter, the last thing you want to experience is a furnace that’s not working. Rather than having a home that is warm and cozy for your family, you are instead reaching for those extra blankets and wondering what has happened to your furnace. However, in many cases, there’s no need to panic when your furnace isn’t working as expected. By keeping the following tips in mind, you’ll know exactly what to check to get your furnace back on track.
Check its Circuit Breaker
One of the most common reasons why furnaces won’t work as expected but also one of the most overlooked, you may discover the only reason your furnace is staying silent is due to a circuit breaker that got tripped. Remember, even if you don’t have an actual power outage at your home, a quick power surge of only two or three seconds can trip a breaker. If you make your way to your home’s breaker box and find the breaker to your furnace in the “off” position, a simple flick of the switch should set things right again.
Check the Thermostat
If the circuit breaker to your furnace seems fine, your next step should be to take a look at the thermostat. Many times, it can be something as simple as needing to change the batteries in your thermostat. If you’re sure the batteries are not the problem, check to see if your furnace’s thermostat is still in cycle mode since this may be preventing it from coming on as expected. Also, don’t forget to check that the thermostat is in the “on” position. If you don’t and you call in a technician who finds this is your only problem, you’ll feel pretty embarrassed.
Clogged Air Filter
If you fail to change the air filter as part of your regular maintenance schedule for your furnace, you may be setting yourself up for problems that could lead to your furnace not working properly. Should the filter be too clogged, this will prevent your furnace from cutting on since it won’t be able to send air back and forth through the filter. If you’ve been experiencing problems you think may be linked to your furnace air filter, call in an experienced furnace repair professional who can perform diagnostic tests and assess the situation.
Check the Blower Motor
If your furnace’s blower motor is having problems, it won’t be able to push air through your ductwork, meaning your home will stay plenty cold when the outside temperatures start to drop. Though this may sound complicated, it is actually one of the easiest things you can check when your furnace isn’t operating up to speed. Most blower motors have a small plastic window on them that allow you to easily look at the motor. When peering through the window, look for a light that is blinking green. If this is what you see, it means your furnace needs to be serviced by a trained technician.
Check the Pilot Light
Should you have a gas-powered furnace in your home that is not working, you should look to see if its pilot light is still on. Contrary to what many people believe, even today’s most sophisticated gas furnaces have pilot lights that make it easy for you to determine if gas is flowing into your furnace. If you check the pilot light and it is not on, this means your furnace will automatically turn off.
While you may not like it, this is a built-in safety feature that prevents gas from leaking into your home, which could result in a catastrophic situation. If you know how to reset the pilot light, you can do so. However, if you’ve never done it before, you may want to call a technician who can either come to your home or walk you through the procedure over the phone.
Always remember that your furnace not working does not mean you should immediately go into panic mode. While the problem could be something serious such as a motor that has died, it could also be something as simple as flipping a switch. By knowing what to check, you’ll solve the problem right away.