Furnace not producing heat during the winter months can be daunting. Over 25% of all heating service calls can easily be avoided with simple fixes that cost little or nothing. Find out easy steps that might get your furnace back to work.
Step 1: Check Thermostat
Before you assume you have a furnace problem, first check the thermostat to make sure it’s communication with the furnace. Most thermostats have multiple setting options.
- Check the temperature setting.
- Compare the temperature setting to the room temperature. Set the temperature five degrees higher than the room temperature and see if the furnace kicks on.
- Program settings work can be bypassed altogether. Simply punch in the temperature you want with the up/down control and then press the hold button. That will switch on the furnace if the thermostat not programmed correctly.
- Make sure correct day and time are set.
- Thermostat should be in “Heat” mode and fan in “Auto” mode.
- Open the thermostat and check if it has batteries inside. Replace batteries if you find them.
- Trace the thermostat wires back to the furnace to check for damages if you had any remodeling recently. If you find a bend or crack in one of the thin wires, splice the line back together and wrap it with electrical tape.
Step 2: Change HVAC filters
Dirty filters can cause furnace to stop working. Dust and dirt restrict airflow. Heat exchanger will overheated and shut off too quickly. Replace air filter to let more air through blower fan. Clogged filter will cause soot buildup on heat exchanger, reducing efficiency of the furnace and shortening its lifespan.
You should change filters every 3 months. Ensure arrow on filter side points toward the furnace. We recommend to replace filters monthly if you have pets and small children.
Step 3: Check shutoff switches and breakers
Emergency shut-off will look like regular light switch next to heating system. All properly installed furnaces have to have manual shut-off. Check the circuit breaker or fuse box. Ensure all panels of your heating system are tightly closed. Push-in safety switch located under front cover will trip the furnace if not secured.
Step 4: Make sure the chimney exhaust flue is not blocked
Often, birds build their nest in chimney exhaust flue. Turn the furnace off. Dismantle exhaust duct to check for debris. Check chimney cleanout as well.
Step 5: Look for blocked or leaky ducts restricting airflow
If your furnace is running but some rooms in your home are cold, look to see if all vent covers are wide open. Check all visible ductwork for gaps or cracks between sections. Seal any gaps in air ducts with metal duct tape.
Step 6: Flush drain lines
High-efficiency furnaces drain many gallons of water per day while in heating cycle. Safety switch will shut down heating system if drain line gets clogged. Locate condensate line cleanout and make sure it drains by filling it with a little water.
Step 7: Clear away leaves, dirt, and trash from outdoor electric heat pump, intake, and exhaust vents.
If your furnace vents on the outside of your house, make sure nothing is blocking the intake or exhaust. Those pipes should have clean screen mesh covers. If ice is clogging one of the pipes, you have a bigger problem somewhere in the system.
Call EMCO Tech technician to have your HVAC system professionally serviced. 215-366-1001 for fast affordable HVAC Service in Philadelphia area