There are few things worse than discovering that your furnace will not turn on during one of the coldest days of the year. The good news is that you may be able to get your furnace back up and running quickly by performing a few simple troubleshooting steps prior to contacting an HVAC contractor for professional repairs. In the event that you do require professional repairs, completing these troubleshooting steps will allow you to provide your repair contractor with some valuable information that can ultimately help them diagnose and repair the problem faster.
Step #1: Make Sure Your Thermostat Is Set Correctly
In order for your furnace to cycle on, your thermostat will first need to register that the temperature in your home is lower than your desired temperature. In order for this to happen your thermostat will need to be both functioning and programmed correctly. When checking your thermostat the first thing you will want to check is the digital display to ensure it is working properly. If the digital display cannot be seen, you may simply need to change the batteries in your thermostat. If the display is showing properly, check to make sure that your thermostat is set to heat, that the fan is set to auto, and that the desired temperature is higher than the current temperature. If all of these things are in order, move on to step #2.
Step #2: Make Sure Your Furnace Is Getting Power
There are several things that can interfere with the flow of power to your furnace. For instance, if your home experiences a power surge, the circuit breaker that supplies power to your furnace can be tripped. In order to restore the flow of power, you will need to reset the breaker switch. If all of your breakers are in the on position and your furnace is still not turning on, you will want to move on to the next step in this troubleshooting process.
Step #3: Make Sure Your Pilot Light Is Lit
If you have a natural gas furnace, your pilot light will need to be lit in order for your furnace to produce hot air. If the pilot light has gone out, you can typically find instructions on how to relight the pilot on the inside cover of your furnace access door. While occasionally needing to relight your pilot light is no big deal, this should not be a frequent task. If your pilot light continues to go out, you will want to call a repair contractor to evaluate the problem.
Step #4: Make Sure Your Furnace Filter Isn't Clogged
Your furnace will not be able to function properly if your air filter is clogged. This is because your furnace requires ample airflow in order to work efficiently. If you cannot easily see through your air filter, you will need to replace this filter before once again trying to turn on your heating system. If your furnace still fails to turn on, it is time to look to professional furnace repairs for a solution.