Whenever you’re having a particularly cold night, you can pipe in relief through the ducts thanks to your furnace. It’s an essential part of life in every place in the world (unless you’re in the subtropics), and it’s an important element in your home. But what happens when that furnace stops working the way that it needs to?
Your home can suffer greatly from not having a functioning furnace. Your pipes can freeze, and if it’s cold enough it can even be hazardous to your health. It’s a big deal if the furnace isn’t working. We’ve got a few tips to help you figure out what’s wrong with your furnace and get it running again!
First, if you’re not getting any heat, the most important part of checking the entire system is to make sure that the thermostat settings are set correctly. We know it might seem silly, but sometimes your thermostat can be malfunctioning or adjusted without your knowledge. First, check to make sure it’s set right. Make sure that the temperature setting is where it belongs, that it’s set to heat your home rather than “cool” or “off,” etc.
If that’s not the problem, check the thermometer built into the thermostat. If the temperature gauge is wrong, that’ll stop your furnace from running. After that, if all of that is correct, take the front off of your thermostat and clean the contacts. If there’s any corrosion or dirt in there, it can prevent a circuit from completing (which means no heat for you)! If all of that’s good, you’ll need to move onto the next step: checking the connections to the furnace.
There are two main types of furnaces: gas and electric. Both have benefits and drawbacks (which are outside of the scope of this article) but they have at least one thing in common: they both need a power source to function. No fuel for the gas furnace, no heat. No electricity for the electric furnace, no heat either.
So, if you’re not getting heat and your thermostat works, then the next step is to ensure that fuel is getting to the devices. For the electric first, go into your circuit breaker box and check to make sure that the breaker isn’t tripped. If the breaker is tripped, then you’re going to need to flip it back. Otherwise, the device won’t get power.
If you check the breaker and it’s working, you’ll need to visually check any wiring that’s not in the walls to see if there’s a problem with the wiring. Beyond that, you’ll probably need to call a professional—electricity isn’t something to play around with!
If you have a gas furnace, there is a separate set of criteria that you should follow. You’ll still want to check the breaker if you have an electronic ignition system that plugs into the wall. However, there are other things here to look for. If the pilot is off, smell for the sulfuric smell that natural gas is infused with. If there is a gas smell, then you’ve got fuel and a pilot light that’s out. Turn off the gas, ventilate, and relight after all the gas is vented and the gas feed is on again. If that works, your electric ignition might be bad. If there’s no gas coming in, you might either be out of gas or have a damaged line—call the professionals at this point! Natural gas is a suffocation hazard as well as an explosion waiting to happen.
Call the Professionals
If you’re having issues with your furnace and you’re not comfortable with the fixing part, give us a call. We’re available to you all day, every day to fix the problems in your home. Remember, your furnace isn’t just for your comfort—it’s for your safety as well! Don’t let a malfunctioning furnace ruin your spring!