Help – My Furnace Won’t Turn On!

Waking up to a non-functioning furnace is never pleasant, but a cold home during a typical northeast winter it can be downright unbearable. If you find yourself in a situation where your furnace won’t turn on, don’t panic. By knowing how to search out problems, you can save yourself time and energy—and know when to call in the help of a professional HVAC technician.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through an easy troubleshooting process to help you identify and address the potential issues causing your furnace to stay silent. Read on to learn more.

Check the Thermostat

The first place to start your troubleshooting journey is at the thermostat. Ensure that it is set to the desired temperature, switched to “heat” mode, and “on”. If your thermostat relies on batteries, replace them to rule out power issues. Additionally, carefully inspect the thermostat for loose or corroded wires. 

Inspect the Circuit Breaker

If all appear well with the thermostat, head to your electrical panel and check the circuit breaker labeled for the furnace. If the breaker has tripped, reset it. A tripped breaker may indicate an electrical overload, and resetting it typically resolves the problem. If the breaker continues to trip, it could signal an underlying electrical issue that requires professional attention.

Check the Power Switch

Next, locate the power switch on or near your furnace and ensure it is in the “on” position. Sometimes, the switch can be accidentally turned off, preventing the furnace from operating. If the switch is on, toggle it off and then back on to see if it resolves the issue.

Inspect the Air Filter

A clogged or dirty air filter can restrict airflow and cause your furnace to overheat, triggering a safety feature that shuts it down. Check the air filter and replace it if it appears clogged or dirty. Regularly changing the filter is essential for maintaining optimal furnace performance. Do so every 8 to 10 weeks during the heating season or as recommended by the manufacturer.

Verify That the Pilot Light Is On

If you have a gas furnace, check that the pilot light is lit. If the flame is out, relight it following the manufacturer’s instructions. If the pilot light won’t stay lit, there may be an issue with the thermocouple or gas supply, requiring professional assistance.

Examine the Ignition System

Modern furnaces often use electronic ignition systems. If you have an electronic ignition furnace, listen for clicking sounds when the furnace attempts to start. Lack of clicking may indicate a faulty ignition system, which should be inspected and repaired by a qualified HVAC technician.

When to Call a Professional

If all else fails or if you’re uncomfortable performing troubleshooting steps, it’s time to call Air Professional Associates. Our highly trained and knowledgeable technicians have the tools and expertise to diagnose and address   complex issues. And with upfront pricing and 24/7 emergency repairs, you can be sure that we’ll have your furnace back in operation safely and efficiently. 

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