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My Furnace Won’t Turn On – What Do I Do?

Few things are worse than sudden cold weather followed by the sudden fear that your furnace isn’t working. When you don’t hear that familiar hum of the hot air coming through the vents, your thoughts go from “I’m so cold!’ to “how am I going to pay for this?”

If your furnace isn’t kicking in when it should, don’t panic – it could just need a switch turned on or a small part replaced. There are a couple of checks you can even do yourself!

Give Your Furnace a Checkup

After you’ve finished not panicking, venture down into wherever the furnace is and look into the situation. First thing’s first: make sure the power has been turned on! You or a serviceman may have shut the power disconnect switch off after the warm weather appeared, so check to see if it’s “on”. If it is in the right position, there are some other things to look out for that are also easy to troubleshoot on your own:

Gas supply line

Your furnace might just be without fuel, so check to see if the control valve is open. If other appliances run on gas, i.e. the stove, are still working, though, that’s probably not the issue.

The Breakers

Check your circuit breakers to see if the fuse your furnace needs hasn’t been tripped. If it pops back, you’d better call us – switching it back constantly can hurt the system!

Thermostat

Check to see if the thermostat is switched to “Auto” or “Heat” and is above the current temperature of the room. Raise the thermostat to a high level to see if that will kick it into gear.

Air filter

If your filters are super clogged, the hot air could be blocked and the furnace could have switched off for safety. Replace them and see what happens.

Float switch

We often think of water coming from the air conditioner, but furnaces can accumulate condensation, too. If the condensate pan is too full, it might have triggered the float switch. Properly drain the pan and make sure the switch is down.

Pilot light

If your furnace has a pilot light, it could have gone out during an interruption to the fuel flow. The sensor or ignitor could just be dirty or faulty, and if this is the case you can clean or replace it. Follow your manual to see where it is. If this doesn’t work, or you’re not comfortable tooling around with it, give us a call.

Gas supply leak

What are you waiting for? Get outside pronto and give us a call immediately; the smell of gas means something extremely dangerous is in the air and could lead to an explosion.

It’s None of Those Things – Now What?

If the problem persists after simple maintenance checks, it’s time to call Premier. Ignition sensor and motor problems are best left to the professionals, as kicking around in the intricate parts of your furnace could make the problem and inevitable repair bills even worse. Most of the time, however, the problem can be solved without an intrusive repair. Go through the steps and see if anything is amiss. You’ll save yourself a lot of time, energy, and money later!

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