When your home heating system starts acting up this time of year it’s stressful, whether the furnace suddenly stops working or you’re feeling less warm air from the registers. Before you pick up the phone to call your HVAC professional, you can use these tips to troubleshoot some of the most common and easily-fixed heating system glitches.
If your digital or programmable thermostat is unresponsive, try replacing the batteries. With a dial-type or manual model, try removing the cover and gently cleaning the contacts.
Incorrect Thermostat Settings
First, check that your thermostat is in “heat” mode and that the fan is on “auto.” Next, make sure the displayed room temperature is lower than your chosen temperature setting so the thermostat can signal the furnace to cycle on.
Power Switched Off
If someone flipped the furnace shutoff switch accidentally, the heating system won’t start up. Find the switch and make sure it’s “on” — it can look similar to a regular light switch, and it may be located on a wall near the furnace, or in a utility closet or stairwell.
Tripped Breaker or Blown Fuse
Check whether the furnace breaker in your main electrical panel needs to be reset. If not, look for a blown fuse or tripped breaker inside the furnace blower compartment.
No Fuel Reaching the Burner
Follow the gas line away from the furnace until you find the shutoff switch, and make sure the handle is in the “on” position, parallel to the pipe.
Dirty Furnace Filter
If you don’t replace the furnace filter when dirt and debris start to accumulate, the amount of warm air output at your heating registers can start to decline. A clogged filter can also trigger the system’s high limit switch and shut down the furnace to prevent a fire.
Extinguished Pilot Light
If the pilot light has gone out on your older furnace, the blower will keep cycling on, but you won’t feel any warm airflow at the registers. If the flame is out, look around the pilot opening for instructions on how to relight it, or check in your owner’s manual.
For expert help solving your home heating issues, contact Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. Providing quality HVAC service to Northwest Arkansas residents has been our priority since 1968.
Our goal is to help homeowners in the Springdale, Arkansas area learn more about HVAC-specific energy and comfort issues.