While the weather outside right now isn’t unbearable just yet, it’s only a matter of time before the brutal cold temperatures of winter set in. And if your furnace isn’t working like it should, your family will have to resort to bundling up to their necks in blankets just to stay comfortable. Fortunately, many standard heating problems can easily be prevented with proper maintenance.
But even when you are diligent about scheduling annual tune-ups for this vital home appliance, problems may still arise. And when your furnace won’t come on at all, it’s an issue that may send you into full-blown panic mode. After all, you don’t want your loved ones to suffer in a cold and miserable home, especially when the temperatures outside get dangerously cold.
Before assuming your only solution to the problem is to buy a replacement furnace, check out these common reasons for why your heater won’t cycle on.
The thermostat isn’t properly set.
The first thing you should check are the settings on your thermostat. It’s not unheard of for a thermostat to accidentally get switched to ‘OFF’ or even to ‘COOL.’ This is especially true if you have young family members in your home with curious hands! Make sure the thermostat is set to ‘HEAT’ and at your desired temperature level.
Also, if you have a thermostat that is powered by batteries, check to see if they need to be replaced. If the batteries are dead or don’t have enough power to make the connection needed between your heater and thermostat, the unit may not come on at all.
Your air filter is clogged.
If you haven’t swapped your filter out in a while, it may be chock full of dirt, dust, pet hair, and other airborne contaminants. All air passing through your furnace must first travel through the filter. If it’s impassable – e.g. clogged with dust/dirt – then this can cause your heater to work overtime to keep your home warm and toasty. As time goes on, this extra strain on your furnace could cause premature wear and tear, and ultimately a breakdown of one or more vital components that help the unit to run as it should.
You should replace your air filter on a monthly basis, perhaps more often if you have pets in your home or individuals who smoke. These things can cause your filter to get dirty much quicker. Also, keeping a clean air filter in place is important for your home’s overall indoor air quality.
A circuit has been flipped.
Check your circuit breaker to be sure that the switch that powers your furnace is set to ‘ON.’ If it’s not in the on position, flip it back into place. If you’ve noticed that there are other appliances in your home that are also not on, such as your fridge, TVs, or lighting, this could indicate an electrical issue that should be taken care of by an electrician.
The pilot light is out.
If you have a furnace that operates on natural gas, perform a visual check of the unit to see if the pilot light is on. Most modern furnaces have a special safety feature that prevents the appliance from coming on if the pilot light is out. The reason being – natural gas then will not be pushed out into the home and lead to a dangerous situation for your family. It’s recommended that you have a heating professional take care of relighting your pilot light.
It’s also important to mention that if you have other appliances in your home that operate on natural gas, check to see if they’re working – such as your stove or dryer. If these devices are also not coming on, it could indicate an issue with your home’s natural gas supply. If you notice this issue, contact your local utility for assistance.
Important: If you smell natural gas in your home, leave immediately. Do not operate anything that could cause a spark, including lights, cell phones, flashlights, and appliances. From a safe location, call 911 and your local utility, which will dispatch a crew to check on the source of the odor and make the area safe.
There’s an issue with a component.
If you’ve checked all the troubleshooting tips above and your furnace still isn’t coming on, the issue could be with one of the parts inside the unit not working as it should. If this is the case, you will need the assistance of a heating expert who will be able to easily pinpoint the part with the issue and get it fixed or replaced.
Get protection for the unexpected!
To protect your family during the harsh winter months when it comes to an untimely furnace breakdown, make sure you’re covered ahead of time. At Pivotal Home Solutions, we offer an affordable Heating Repair Plan. When you’re enrolled and a covered problem occurs in your home, just give us a call and we will send a trained, experienced, and local heating service provider to diagnose and take care of the problem, so your family isn’t stuck in the cold for too long!
To see if the plan is available in your area, visit us online and enter your ZIP code in the upper right corner of the page. Available plans and pricing will be provided to you. Have questions about coverage or billing? Feel free to call us at any time, or chat live with a customer service specialist by clicking the ‘Click to Chat!’ tab on the right side of the page.