47 percent of American households heat their homes using natural gas. These furnaces are the most common choice in most regions.
With the winter closing in, you want to be sure that you’ll have heat when you need it. But what if you find a problem?
Is your heater not working? Read on to learn some of the main reasons why and what to do about them.
Start with the Thermostat
If your heater isn’t working, the easiest thing to check first is your thermostat. Is it sending the right signals to the furnace? Start by checking the switch is set to ‘heat.’
If it is, then the temperature setting may need to be adjusted so the heater kicks in. You normally want the temperature to be 68°F during waking hours.
Set your temperature to a higher setting than the ambient temperature in the room. If the heater comes on, then you’ve solved the problem.
While you’re checking the program of your thermostat, make sure you’ve got the right time and day programmed. If you want the heating to come on at 6 am but it’s coming on at 6 pm, change the setting.
Changing the battery can solve this problem. If you’ve had a power outage and the battery was dead, the thermostat will have switched back to its factory settings without you knowing.
Finally, check the thermostat wires for any breaks. Make sure the wires around the thermostat aren’t loose.
Heater Not Working? Move onto the Furnace
If that doesn’t help, move on to the furnace itself.
Make sure the furnace is turned on. Check your circuit breakers and fuses for the furnace while you’re at it. It’s easy to forget to turn them back on after a problem.
Switch the furnace off before you try the next fix.
Consult your manual to find where the air filter is. If it gets clogged, it can stop the furnace from switching on.
Flat filters can be changed once a month. Pleated filters can last for three months.
If you have a gas furnace, make sure the gas valve is switched on. Open the front panel to check that the pilot light is lit if you have one.
Check for Blockages
Just as a clogged filter can cause problems, so can a blocked chimney exhaust flue. With the furnace still off, find where the flue leaves the furnace.
Take it apart and look for anything that might block the flue. Put it back together in the same order you dismantled it.
Mold or sediment can block the drain lines, causing a shutdown. Check the drain hose for dirt. If it doesn’t look clean, flush it with a mixture of bleach and water.
Check the ductwork for gaps. If you find any, use metal duct tape to seal them.
If your furnace has an intake or exhaust on the side of your house, check both of them. Clear away leaves or debris that might be blocking them.
Having Heater Issues?
Now you know what to do about your heater not working. These tips and tricks will help you to diagnose problems early and fix them yourself.
Sometimes you’ll hit a problem that is bigger than you can handle. In these cases, consult a professional.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for advice, seasonal maintenance, or to help you spot problems before they happen!