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Furnace Won’t Turn On? Here’s What to Check

Furnace Won’t Turn On? Here’s What to Check

No heat

It’s the first cold night of the season in the Lynchburg area and you switch on the heat for the first time in months… and nothing happens. There’s no heat! What should you do? It could be a simple fix, so here’s what to check.

  1. Check That the Power Is On – Even though a furnace is gas powered, it requires electricity to run. Open your circuit breaker panel and locate the breaker for the furnace or heat pump. If the circuit has tripped, switch it back to the ON position. If the circuit trips again, DO NOT RESET IT MORE THAN ONCE, as this is a safety measure to prevent an electrical fire in the event of a malfunction. Call Hickey Plumbing, Air & Electrical to have the electrical system checked.
  2. Ensure that the Thermostat Is Turned To the HEAT Position. You may need to turn the temperature up a couple more degrees to get the heat to come on.
  3. Check the Furnace Condensate Pan. During normal operation water will drain from the air conditioner or furnace into a drain pan. If the drain line for the pan is clogged, the pan will fill up and trigger a float switch, preventing the operation of the furnace or air conditioner. Check to see if the float switch is up (activated). If it is, you will need to clear the obstruction from the drain line to allow the pan to empty and reset the switch.
  4. Check the Furnace Filter. An extremely dirty air filter will make the furnace overheat, which will cause it to shut down as a safety precaution. Install a new filter to allow it to breathe easier.
  5. Check the Pilot Light. This only applies to older gas furnaces. Most newer units have electric ignition. If your pilot light is out,consult your owner’s manual for the correct way to light the pilot, or contact us for assistance.
  6. Check the Fuel Supply. If there are other gas appliances in the home, such as a gas range or fireplace, check that they are functioning. If they are not, the problem is with the home’s gas supply, so contact your utility company for help.

If none of the above steps work and the furnace still won’t turn on, call Hickey Plumbing, Air & Electrical. We can quickly diagnose the cause of the problem and get your heat back on quickly.