Furnace Not Working? Here’s How To Diagnose Common Problems

Just because your furnace isn’t working doesn’t mean you should call a maintenance specialist to your home right away. There are apparent causes for a furnace not working that are easy to fix. Before calling, check these five common issues that might be causing your furnace to fail.

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1.  Change Your Air Filter If It’s Dirty

Dirt on an air filter can end up blocking return air flow to a furnace and cause problems. One issue a dirty air filter could cause is reduced volume of air being blown out, which could make you think the furnace isn’t working. Because your furnace must work extra hard to push air through the filter, it could also overheat and automatically shut down for periods of time until it can recover. An air filter should be checked every few months and changed the moment it starts to look dirty. If you need to replace your filter, remember to turn off your furnace and thermostat before changing the filter.

2.  Check Your Thermostat

Thermostat batteries die, so if it’s been over a year since you last changed them and you’re having problems with your furnace, it’s time for a battery replacement. If the battery still has plenty of charge, check that your thermostat is set to “heat” just in case someone switched it to “cool” on accident. If neither of those changes anything, try setting your thermostat to 5 degrees above the current room temperature to see if your furnace will be prompted to come on.

3.  Verify That the Furnace is On

Next, make sure that your furnace is on by checking the shutoff switches and breakers. The switch will be on either the furnace itself or on the wall near the furnace. A furnace being switched off is a very common cause for it not to work, so don’t assume this isn’t the case with yours. Also, check the fuse for the furnace to make sure it hasn’t blown.

4.  Verify That the Gas is On

It’s possible that during a past repair, your gas valve may have been turned off and never turned back on. If the valve is off, no gas will enter the furnace, which will prevent gas from burning to produce heat. If it’s on, the handle should be parallel with the gas pipe. If the handle is not in the on position, turn it until it is and wait to see if that fixes your furnace problem.

5.  Check the Pilot Light

Another reason your furnace may not be functioning properly is a lack of fuel. First, make sure that the pilot light on your furnace is on. If the light is on, check the fuel level. If the pilot light is not on, but you hear fuel, call a technician immediately as these systems are best checked by a professional.

If you have checked your furnace for all the above common issues, you may have a bigger problem and need to call in a technician. For assistance with getting your furnace working correctly again, call 650-229-8432 today.


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