Furnace Not Working? Here are Some Things You Can Do Before Calling an Expert
Winter has officially arrived in Denver and we’ve already seen some pretty cold temperatures. The last thing any of us wants to deal with now is our furnace not working. If you do find yourself with no heat, however, there are some steps you can take before calling for service that may just fix the problem or at least point you toward the cause of the problem.
Make sure your furnace is getting power.
Start by checking to see if the circuit breaker has been tripped. If this happens often, it could indicate a problem with your electrical system. Next, make sure the power switch on your furnace is “on.” The switch is mounted on the side of the furnace. Some furnaces also have a metal housing that contains a fuse. Lift the housing to see if the fuse is burnt out and needs to be replaced. This could indicate a problem with your system and should be inspected by a professional.
Make sure nothing is blocking the fresh air intake and exhaust.
Newer homes often have the fresh air intake and exhaust vented through an outside wall, rather than a chimney. Clear away any leaves, insects or other debris, and look for signs of moisture that may be affecting your system. Ask your HVAC professional for venting options that may prevent problems in the future.
Check your thermostat.
Make sure the thermostat is set to “heat” and to a high enough temperature to signal the furnace to turn on. Check the batteries; they may need to be replaced. Consult the user guide for your programmable thermostat to find troubleshooting steps. Newer thermostats can be confusing to set. If you are unsure whether you are using your thermostat correctly, call your HVAC company for assistance.
Change your air filter
If your furnace starts up but it isn’t blowing as much air as it usually does, you could simply need a clean filter. Air filters should be changed every one to three months. This is an easy, inexpensive fix that should be part of your regular household maintenance.
Check the pilot light
On standing pilot furnaces, verify that the pilot light is lit. On direct ignition furnaces make sure the flame sensor is clean.
Check the gas valve.
If you have a gas furnace, make sure the gas valve is turned on fully instead of partially.
If you still need help, contact a licensed and insured HVAC expert.