What Do I Do if My Furnace Stops Working: Top 3 Checks

When your furnace decides to go on the fritz, it can create a lot of uncertainty and stress. Questions like “Is my furnace powered on?” or “How do I reset my furnace?” overwhelm your mind as you try to deduce the cause of the problem.

In this article, we’ll go step by step through key checks and potential solutions to help you troubleshoot your furnace issue effectively.

What do I do if my furnace stops working?

If your furnace stops working, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue before calling a professional. First, check if the thermostat is set to heat and set the temperature higher than the current room temperature. Make sure that the circuit breaker for the furnace is not tripped. If it is, try resetting it. Check if the furnace switch is turned on. If none of these steps resolve the problem, it’s best to contact a qualified HVAC technician to assess and repair your furnace.

The top 3 things to check when your furnace stops working

1. Check the thermostat

Check that the thermostat is set to “heat” mode and that the temperature is set higher than the current room temperature. Sometimes, a simple adjustment of the thermostat settings can resolve the issue and get your furnace working again.

2. Inspect the circuit breaker

Locate the circuit breaker panel in your home and check if the breaker for the furnace has been tripped. If it has, switch it off and then back on to reset it. A tripped breaker can often cause the furnace to stop working, so resetting it may restore power to the furnace and resolve the problem.

3. Verify the furnace switch

Locate the furnace switch, usually found near the furnace itself or on a nearby wall. Make sure that the switch is turned on. It may seem obvious, but sometimes it can accidentally be switched off, causing the furnace to stop working. By verifying and switching on the furnace switch, you may be able to restore power and functionality to your furnace.

Is my furnace powered on?

Start by locating the furnace switch, which is usually found near the furnace or on a nearby wall. Make sure the switch is in the “on” position. Check the circuit breaker panel in your home and look for the breaker dedicated to the furnace. Check if the breaker is not tripped or in the “off” position.

If it is, switch it off and then back on to reset it. Next, check if there are any indicator lights on the furnace itself. Some furnaces have lights that indicate the power status. If you see a green light or any other indication of power, it means that your furnace is likely powered on. If there are no lights or if you’re unsure about any of these steps, contact a qualified HVAC technician to assess the power status and address any issues with your furnace.

Are my furnace’s filters dirty or clogged?

Look for the furnace filter, which is typically found near the blower compartment. Remove the filter and visually inspect it for any signs of dirt, dust, or debris accumulation. If the filter appears visibly dirty or clogged, it’s a clear indication that it needs cleaning or replacement.

In addition to visual inspection, you can hold the filter up to a light source. If you cannot see light passing through the filter, it is likely clogged and obstructing airflow. Cleaning or replacing furnace filters should be done regularly, typically every 1 to 3 months, depending on the filter type and household conditions. Some filters are reusable and can be cleaned with water or a vacuum cleaner, while others are disposable and need to be replaced entirely.

How do I check my thermostat settings?

To check and adjust your thermostat settings, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Locate the thermostat: Find the thermostat in your home, usually mounted on a wall in a central area.

  2. Check the display: Look at the thermostat’s display to see the current settings and temperature. Confirm that the display is functioning properly.

  3. Check the mode: Identify the mode setting on the thermostat. It may be labeled as “heat,” “cool,” or “auto.” Make sure it is set to “heat” for your furnace to work. 4. Adjust the temperature:Locate the temperature adjustment buttons or dial the thermostat. Increase the temperature setting to a higher value than the current room temperature. This will prompt the furnace to turn on if the temperature is below the set point.

  4. Check the fan settings. Some thermostats have a fan setting that can be set to “on” or “auto.” If you want the furnace fan to run continuously, select “on.” If you prefer it to run only when the furnace is actively heating, choose “auto.”

  5. Verify programming (if applicable): If your thermostat has a programming feature, confirm that the programmed schedule aligns with your desired heating settings. Make any necessary adjustments to the schedule.

How can I inspect the air ducts for blockages?

  • Inspect the air ducts: Start by visually inspecting the air ducts throughout your home, looking for any signs of blockages or obstructions.

  • Check for debris: Look for any accumulation of dust, dirt, or debris inside the air ducts. This can restrict airflow and reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system.

  • Listen for unusual noises. Pay attention to any unusual noises coming from the air ducts, such as rattling or whistling sounds. This can indicate potential blockages or issues within the ductwork.

  • Check air registers and vents: Establish that the air registers and vents are not blocked or covered by furniture, curtains, or other objects. Clear any obstructions to allow unrestricted airflow.

  • Use a flashlight: Shine a flashlight into the air ducts to check for any visible blockages or signs of damage. Look for objects, such as toys or debris, that may have fallen into the ducts.

  • Remove blockages: If you identify any blockages or debris, carefully remove them using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment or by gently brushing them away with a soft cloth or brush.

  • Consider professional cleaning: If you notice a significant buildup of dirt or debris or if you suspect mold growth in your air ducts, it may be beneficial to hire a professional duct cleaning service to thoroughly clean and sanitize the ductwork.

How can I check the power supply to my furnace?

  1. Check the furnace switch: Locate the furnace switch, usually near the furnace or on a nearby wall. Check to see if the switch is turned on. If it’s already on, toggle it off and then back on to ensure a proper connection.

  2. Inspect the circuit breaker: Locate the circuit breaker panel in your home and find the breaker dedicated to the furnace. Check if the breaker is in the “on” position. If it has tripped to the “off” position, switch it off and then back on to reset it.

  3. Verify the wiring connections: Examine the wiring connections at the furnace and electrical panel. Look for any loose or disconnected wires. If you notice any issues, consult a professional electrician to address the wiring problem.

  4. Check for blown fuses. Some furnaces have fuses that protect the electrical circuit. Inspect the fuse box near the furnace for any blown fuses. If you find a blown fuse, replace it with a new one of the same rating.

  5. Test the power outlet: Plug a lamp or another device into the power outlet that the furnace is connected to. If the device doesn’t work, it may indicate a problem with the outlet or electrical circuit supplying power to the furnace. In such cases, contact an electrician to inspect and repair the outlet.

How do I check the gas supply to my furnace?

To check the gas supply to your furnace and ensure it is functioning properly, follow these steps:

  1. Inspect the gas valve. Locate the main gas valve near the furnace. Verify that it is in the “on” position. If it’s already on, you can try turning it off and then turning it back on to establish a proper connection.

  2. Check for gas leaks: Use a gas leak detector or a mixture of soapy water to examine for any gas leaks around the gas line connections. Apply the soapy water or gas detector solution to the connections while the gas is on, and observe for any bubbles or indications of a leak. If you detect a gas leak, immediately turn off the gas supply and contact a qualified professional to address the issue.

  3. Inspect the pilot light (if applicable): If your furnace has a pilot light, visually examine it to confirm that it is lit. If it’s not lit, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions to relight it. If you encounter any difficulties or if the pilot light keeps going out, contact a professional technician for assistance.

  4. Check for obstructions: Verify that there are no obstructions blocking the flue or vent pipes connected to the furnace. Obstructions can impede the proper flow of combustion gases and impact the furnace’s performance.

  5. Consider a professional inspection: For a comprehensive assessment of the gas supply and overall furnace functionality, it is recommended to schedule a professional inspection by a qualified HVAC technician. They have the expertise and tools to identify any potential gas supply issues and ensure safe operation.

How do I reset my furnace?

First, locate the power switch or circuit breaker dedicated to the furnace and switch it off. Leave it off for at least 30 seconds to allow the furnace’s internal components to reset. During this time, you can also check for any error codes on the furnace’s display panel, if available.

After the waiting period, switch the power back on by turning on the circuit breaker or flipping the furnace switch. This should initiate the restart process for your furnace. Give it a few minutes to start up and warm up.

Where is the reset button on my furnace model?

Here are some common furnace models and their respective reset button locations:

  • Carrier: The reset button is typically located on the blower motor. Look for a small red or yellow button on the motor housing. Press and hold the button for a few seconds to reset the furnace.

  • Lennox: The reset button is often found on the burner compartment. Open the furnace door to access the burner compartment and locate a small red button. Press and hold the button to reset the furnace.

  • Trane: The reset button is commonly located on the control board. Remove the furnace’s front panel to access the control board. Look for a small button labeled “reset” or a similar indication. Press and hold the button to reset the furnace.

  • Rheem: The reset button can usually be found near the burner chamber or the control board. Refer to your furnace’s manual for specific instructions on locating and resetting the furnace using the reset button.

  • York: The reset button is typically situated on the blower motor or near the control board. Look for a small red or yellow button labeled “reset.” Press and hold the button for a few seconds to reset the furnace.

When should I call a professional for furnace repair?

If your furnace is not producing any heat despite troubleshooting steps such as checking the thermostat and circuit breakers, it’s best to seek professional help. Other signs include unusual noises, persistent cycling on and off, frequent breakdowns, and a significant increase in energy bills.

If you detect gas odors or suspect a gas leak, immediately evacuate the premises and contact a professional. When in need of a reliable HVAC technician, you can visit our website directory, Big Home Projects, where you can find qualified contractors in your area who specialize in furnace repairs and maintenance. They can provide expert diagnosis and repair and help your furnace operate safely and efficiently.

Why should I hire a professional company to clean my air ducts?

Professionals have the expertise and specialized equipment to thoroughly clean the entire duct system, removing accumulated dust, dirt, allergens, and debris. This improves indoor air quality, making it especially beneficial for individuals with allergies or respiratory conditions.

Clean air ducts also promote better airflow, which helps your furnace operate more efficiently and evenly distribute heated or cooled air throughout your home. Professional duct cleaning reduces the risk of mold growth, eliminates unpleasant odors, and can extend the lifespan of your HVAC system.

By investing in professional air duct cleaning, you get a healthier living environment, enhance furnace performance, and potentially save on energy costs in the long run.

Author: Logan

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