6 Things to Check if Your Heat or Furnace Are Not Working

Smiling Family

There’s nothing like walking into a warm and cozy home after a brisk walk in the snow or a tiring day at work. We at Solutions Heating & Cooling understand the importance of a warm and inviting space amidst the chilliness of the winter season. However, we also understand the frustration of having your home feel colder inside than it feels outside.

The last thing you want to do after coming home is to wonder why your furnace isn’t heating at all! Solutions Heating & Cooling believes in empowering people to know about issues they may face with their furnaces.

Our team has curated a list of potential issues that might hinder your furnace from performing well, resulting in a less-than-ideal home. We also understand how important it is to stay protected, which is why our dedicated members are just a call away to assist you with any issues regarding your furnace or heating problems.

6 Troubleshooting Tips to Fix Your Furnace

1. First Things First: Inspect the Thermostat

Start by checking your furnace’s thermostat. Below are some steps you can take to do so:

  • The Thermostat Should be Set to Heat: There are times when the thermostat automatically changes to the cooling option, resulting in a chilly home, or there are times when someone changed the setting, or perhaps accidentally set it to the wrong temperature or even to the Cool setting. If this happens, you’ll have to change the setting and make sure that it's set to the temperature or the proper setting.
  • Check the Thermostat batteries: Some thermostats require batteries for power, but some do not. If your thermostat has batteries and they get weak, it won’t be able to connect to the furnace. To resolve this, replacing the batteries is the only solution. Our professionals can instantly get it done so your home goes back to a warm haven from the chilled atmosphere.
  • Check Programming Settings: If you have a programmable thermostat, another way to check if your heat or furnace is working correctly is through its programming. The correct display of time and date, even the pm and am settings, helps operate everything properly. This too can be part of your yearly thorough maintenance plan by one of our experts.
  • Manual Control of Temperature: If the program settings are complex, you can skip them altogether. Enter your desired temperature using the up and down buttons and then press and hold (some thermostats may be different on exact details, but it should be hold or hold temp, or something similar). This will help you check if your furnace is heating up or if something is wrong.
  • Check for a Malfunctioning Thermostat: If your furnace stops working instantly, even without overheating, it may be that your thermostat is malfunctioning. If this is the case, we encourage you to contact one of our very capable team members as soon as possible.

A semi-annual or yearly maintenance plan will go a long way in providing seasonal inspections that guarantee proper functionality. We understand and value customer safety and strive to ensure that you can enjoy a warm home every winter season.

2. The Furnace isn’t Getting Electricity

After checking the thermostat, another step is to turn the fan from “Auto” to “On” on your thermostat.

  • If the fan starts working, it means you have power at your furnace, but it does not guarantee that the problem is fixed, nor does it mean necessarily that your thermostat has failed.
  • However, if the fan doesn’t start, the furnace isn’t getting the power it needs to operate.

This problem can be caused by the following:

  • Issues in the circuit breaker: Search for the breaker box and then look for the switch. Push it one way and then make sure the positions of the rest are the same. If the breaker trips after you reset it, do not continue to reset it. There could be something specifically causing it to trip, and it is potentially unsafe to continue to reset it.
  • The pilot light is turned off: If you have an old furnace with a pilot light and are unsure if it's turned off or on, contacting an expert might help. Our team is fully equipped with the knowledge and expertise to ensure that your pilot light is working correctly and switched on.
  • The switch isn’t turned on: Most furnaces come with a power switch similar to a light switch, either on the furnace or nearby on the wall. Flip it and wait a few seconds to a minute to check if the furnace turns on. (In some cases, the furnace switch may be in the basement or near the stairs and may be turned off or perhaps someone bumped it by accident and turned the power off.)
  • Check all the doors and panels to see if they are completely closed. Some furnaces have a cutout switch for emergencies that is usually active when a service panel or the door is removed or not closed after carrying out the Be careful if you choose to do this! There are moving parts in there that could come on if there is power present at the furnace

If none of these solutions resolve the issue, our experts can guide you in the right direction. Get in touch with one of our experts, we can provide you with the assistance you need to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.

3. Furnace Blower Lacks Lubrication

A furnace has multiple parts, each playing a unique role in ensuring that the furnace is working properly. The blower in a furnace does the primary job, which is to make sure heat is drawn from the furnace and then distributed throughout your home. Some older furnaces have oil ports that need lubrication, whereas most newer furnaces have permanently sealed motors. If yours has oil ports, it’s important to lubricate before the season begins. Lubricating it once a year will do the job. Ensure you start the furnace and check that it's working smoothly without making any strange noises. Doing this will help increase the life of your furnace.

4. Check for a Clogged Filter

One of the most essential yet significant steps in maintaining your furnace is to ensure the filters are clean. So many of our clients experience a clogged filter, which is why their furnaces stopped working, hence the lack of heat. If you have a washable filter, cleaning the debris that collects on your furnace’s filters assists with the quick and easy flow of air. If you have a disposable filter, it is important to replace it on a regular basis. When the air filter of your furnace is clogged, the air handler works harder to compensate for the blockage. This not only makes the handler's job more difficult, but it can also damage it, causing it to overheat and shut off entirely. To avoid this, quickly cleaning or replacing the furnace filter is always helpful.

  • Identify the location of your filters: Some of the furnaces have a filter system in their intakes. It usually looks like a grate on a wall or floor. At the same time, other filter systems can be found in the furnace.
  • Begin inspection: Our experts will instantly realize whether it needs a change. With the start of the blower, we can inspect for dirt, dust and smell for any foul odors coming from the vents. This is a sign for our team to change your furnace's filter.
  • Replace your furnace’s filter: When the time comes to replace the furnace’s filter, it’s important to ensure the furnace is turned off. Our expert will first check this for safety and then check the direction the filter points. In such cases, installed incorrectly will reduce efficiency of the filter.

Replacing your filters is one of the easiest things you can do to add to the life of your furnace system. It protects the HVAC components and improves your air quality. Our experts can inspect your filters as part of your regular maintenance plan. They will carry out these steps with utmost safety to ensure everything is done in the property.

5. Inspect the Drain Lines

If you have a highly efficient furnace, then you know it can produce a good amount of condensation daily. The furnace will automatically turn off if the lines are clogged with mold, trash, and/or sediment. If your drain lines are dirty, the best approach is to:

  • Remove anything that might be blocking the water from draining.
  • A bleach and water mixture does work best for minor issues.
  • Inspect where the drain terminates outside to make sure it is not frozen. In bitterly cold weather, condensation terminating outside can cause the furnace to stop working if that line freezes. If it freezes up, you can attempt to thaw it yourself, or give us a call and we will get you up and running.
  • But for any significant issues, connecting with our professional team and allowing them to take a look will be most helpful. We can inspect your drain lines and perform the necessary maintenance to ensure your drain lines are working properly.

6. Check for Any Unusual Odors

If you have a furnace in your home and it isn’t working, it is important to check for the following:

If the furnace heater is working properly, there shouldn't be any smell in the surrounding air. If you smell a smoky or burnt smell or a gas leakage, immediately call a professional while turning the switch off, or shutting off the circuit breakers to the unit, and possibly opening all the windows.

In case there is a carbon monoxide leak, detecting it on your own can be challenging as carbon monoxide is odorless, and thus called the silent killer. This is why we encourage people to install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. This is essential for furnaces fired through gas because it can lead to combustion, which produces carbon monoxide. If the alarm goes off in your home, make sure to alert your family so everyone can evacuate your house immediately and call the fire department. For even greater protection, we recommend low-level carbon monoxide alarms which can be purchased through Solutions Heating and Cooling, or from some specific online retailers. Please note that you cannot get them from the big box retailers. Those are not low level alarms.

Get in Touch With the Professionals to Get Your Heating Fixed!

It’s time to call the professionals!

If your furnace continues to malfunction despite trying the troubleshooting steps mentioned above, it's time to enlist the assistance of professionals. Residents of Halifax, VA, Danville, VA, Chase City, VA, or South Boston, VA, can rely on Solutions Heating and Cooling, just a call or text away, to provide prompt service.

At Solutions Heating and Cooling, we have a team of trained professionals to address any issues related the furnaces, ensuring your homes get the right amount of heat. We are at your service with our HVAC maintenance plan if you do not want your system to breakdown. You can even discuss the specifics with our team, and they’ll guide you thoroughly to guarantee a smooth and steady process.  

Do not compromise on quality and let us work wonders to ensure your furnace is functioning seamlessly, providing you with warmth in your home. Enjoy coziness without breaking the bank with our expert workers!