When Your Furnace Doesn’t Work, What Can Be Wrong?
When you crank up the heat on a cold winter night, you expect your furnace to respond immediately, sending a rush of warm air through the pipes and bringing into the room. Whether you live in a cold climate or a more forgiving one, you expect your furnace to respond and keep your home and your family warm and cozy.
A well-maintained furnace can provide years, or even decades, of efficient and reliable service, but things do not always go as smoothly as they should. If you crank up the thermostat and are greeted by only silence, it is time to put on your troubleshooting hat and seek out the source of the problem.
Step By Step Approach
Your furnace is a complicated system, and a number of things can cause it to misbehave. As with every other system in your home, it is best to take a step-by-step approach to finding out what is wrong with your furnace – and how you can fix it.
The first thing to check is your thermostat. If your heat is not coming on, first make sure that the thermostat is set to the heat position. Someone in your family could have inadvertently set the thermostat to the cooling position, and that will definitely stop the heat from flowing. Check the thermostat carefully to make sure it is properly positioned, then reset the temperature and wait for the warm air to start flowing.
If the heat still fails to appear, make sure the thermostat is working properly and that it is getting power. Many homeowners do not realize that their thermostats rely on battery power instead of the AC power in their homes. Check the documentation that came with your thermostat to see if it uses batteries, and if so, how to change them. The problem with your heating system could be as simple as a dead battery.
Power problems or another kind could also cause your furnace to stop working. If your furnace sensed a problem with the home’s power, the heating system may have tripped the breaker and cut off its supply of electricity.
Find the breaker that controls the furnace and see if it has been tripped. If it has, reset the system and power up the furnace. If heat is now flowing, you are done. If not, you will need to continue your troubleshooting.
A leak in the system can reduce the efficiency of your furnace or even cause a complete failure of the system. Run your hands along the ductwork and pipes and feel for airflow and other indications of a leak. If you find a leak, you will want to schedule service for your furnace as soon as possible. Left untreated, the leak will only get worse, reducing the efficiency of the system and increasing the size of any future repair bills.
Call For Service
There is a lot riding on your furnace, including the warm and comfort of your family. When your furnace fails to cooperate, you want to get it back in service as soon as possible. Knowing what to look for, and when to call for service, is the best way to make sure your home and your family stay warm and cozy no matter how cold it gets outside.