What To Do If Your Furnace Stops Working 

A home utility room with a gray hot water heater next to a black Goodman furnace. Pipes and ductwork are connected to both appliances.

The last thing you want in the dead of winter is to realize that your furnace has stopped working. Inevitably, it tends to happen when you need heat the most. Before calling in the professionals, there are a few things you can check to see if you can solve the problem yourself. With a little guidance, you’ll get your furnace back up and working in the nick of time. Check out 5 things to do if your furnace stops working. 

1. Is Your Furnace Turned On?

The first thing you’ll want to check is that your furnace is actually turned on. It sounds like it would be too obvious of a solution, but if you’ve recently had maintenance done to your furnace, they could have forgotten to turn it back on at the end. All furnaces have a power switch, so look for a standard wall switch on or near your furnace and check to see if it’s in the on or off position. If it’s off, simply turn it back on. Many furnaces today also come with safety switches on their front panels that don’t allow the furnace to turn on if it’s not properly closed. Make sure the panel door is secure and read your owner’s manual if you’re unsure. 

2. Check Your Furnace Filters

If your furnace is fired up but isn’t blowing heat as hard as it usually does, the issue could be dirty or clogged furnace filters. Furnace filters trap dirt, dust and debris, which can restrict or block air flow over time and lead to the overheating of the heat exchanger. This prevents your furnace from working efficiently. Check your furnace filters monthly and change them every three months to ensure your furnace works properly. 

3. Look for Thermostat Issues

The thermostat is the control centre of your heating system, so if there is an issue with your thermostat, you could need to troubleshoot it. To do this, set your thermostat to heat instead of cool, then set it to 5 degrees above room temperature and see if your furnace comes on. Also check the thermostat batteries. When the batteries are low, you’ll typically see a “low battery” warning, and if they die, the display will go blank and you won’t be able to operate your heating and cooling system. Replace your batteries once a year to prevent this problem and replace them as soon as possible if the battery is low or dead. 

4. Inspect Air Ducts

If hot air is coming out of the air vents, but you notice your house is still cold, the issue may be your air ducts. Handles that protrude from the ducts are called dampers and they control air flow. Make sure they’re fully open. If entire rooms are still cold, you could have leaking ducts or incorrectly designed ducts. These are serious problems that can skyrocket your energy bills and should be looked at by an expert. Make sure your vents aren’t being blocked by furniture or objects like drapes, rugs or plants. 

5. Call a Professional

If you’ve tried everything and your furnace still isn’t working, it’s time to call in an expert. They’ll be able to dive deeper into specific issues with your furnace model and fix the problem for you. Annual furnace maintenance by a licensed technician will save you time, frustration and money.

Our team of experts and HVAC technicians will be only too happy to help answer any questions that you may have. We also have maintenance and 24/7 emergency services available. Give us a call today.