troubleshooting tips for a broken furnace

Furnace Not Working (Troubleshooting Tips)

A furnace not working send many Nashville, GA homeowners into panic mode, especially when it happens on the coldest days of the year! They often worry about how to stay comfortable while waiting for a service call, and the expense of needed repairs. Fortunately for you, not all furnace issues are expensive or hard to solve! Some simple troubleshooting may be just what you need to restore heat at home!

Why is My Furnace Not Working?

Yes, when you have a furnace not working, sometimes the cause is a broken component or major issue that requires professional help. But sometimes, the issue standing in the way of warmth is simple enough for anyone to solve. This is the case in many furnace issues involving airflow and power supply. Our technicians discuss the simple steps you should take if you notice your furnace not working – do these quickly before you call us, because they may correct the problem without our help!

No Power = No Heat

For your furnace to work, it needs power at a few different points. First off, the thermostat needs power because it is the component that signals the furnace to run a heating cycle. If your thermostat doesn’t have power, this problem makes you think the furnace doesn’t work, but that’s not the case. Next, your furnace itself needs power! Now, power can be cut off at a few different points as well, so below are the areas you need to check.

  • Start with the thermostat. In a battery powered thermostat, the display typically goes blank when the batteries die. Sometimes dying batteries disrupt thermostat signaling even when there is still a little juice left, so it may appear from the display that the thermostat is on, but a battery issue may still disrupt signals to your furnace. Replace the batteries with fresh ones.
  • For hardwired thermostats, check your home’s electrical panel. Ensure the breaker that powers the thermostat’s circuit has not been tripped (or the fuse blown, depending on your panel equipment). If you find tripped breakers or blown fuses, reset and replace.
  • If your thermostat is fully powered but your furnace doesn’t turn on, check furnace power. While you’re at the electrical panel, check the circuits powering your HVAC equipment, too. Reset or replace them if necessary.
  • Furnaces also have an on/off switch. This switch is typically located on the exterior of the unit. Verify that the switch is set in the ON position and has not been accidentally knocked to OFF.
  • In gas powered furnaces, even though the thermostat and unit have electrical power, if the gas supply is off, you don’t get heating. Check the gas valve on the line that supplies your furnace and make sure it is open.

Thermostat Settings

If you have a furnace not working, also check your thermostat settings! As silly as it sounds, sometimes, a simple setting mistake is the issue to blame for a furnace that doesn’t turn on. Verify this yourself so you don’t end up paying for an unneeded service call.

  • Make sure HEAT mode is selected on your thermostat.
  • Set the temperature a few degrees below the current temperature of the home. This triggers a heating cycle to start if all is working correctly.

Airflow Issues

Your furnace needs good air movement through the system to work. When air doesn’t flow freely, the furnace becomes too hot and its limit switch shuts the system down for your safety. The furnace will not run when it is too hot, which makes it seem like you have a furnace not working on your hands. Check airflow issues and give the furnace a few minutes to cool down and see if this corrects the problem.

  • Replace your air filter. A dirty filter prevents good air movement through the system and causes overheating. Always check your filter once a month in the winter, because often it requires early replacement during periods of heavy system use.
  • Check all vents and return air grills throughout the home – make sure all vent louvers are opened and no vents or grills are covered with carpets, furniture, or other items. While closing vents to unused areas sounds like a smart way to save energy, it actually isn’t your best move – doing so restricts airflow through the home and stops hot air from exiting the vents. Heat backs up in ducts and the furnace, overheating the system.

Furnace Not Working? Call Ray & Son!

If these quick and easy furnace troubleshooting steps don’t restore heating to your home, contact us to request service. We offer 24/7 emergency heating repair to keep you warm at all times. Our NATE-certified technicians use thorough diagnostics to find that cause behind a furnace not working, and perform repairs fast to restore function and heat to your home.