6 DIY Repair Tricks To Try When Your Furnace Is Not Working

It's been nearly a year since most people have used their furnace or heat setting in Florida. When left to sit unused for so long, it could cause issues if you don't have your HVAC system regularly inspected or serviced. If you attempt to turn yours on in the coming weeks and are having issues, first check your thermostat! Here are some things to check for:

  • Check that the thermostat is on (or rather set to heat, not just cool).
  • If it is blank or not responding, it may need the batteries replaced.
  • Make sure the system is on heat and not cool.
  • If your thermostat is programmable, make sure it’s on the right schedule (home vs. away).
  • Open the thermostat and check for loose wires.
  • Set the temperature to be 5 degrees higher than the current room temperature, then listen to see if you can hear the furnace turn on. If you can't hear it, go to the supply register, and check to see if you can feel any air coming out of the vents.
  • Turn the switch to the fan on and listen. If it doesn't come on the problem may be that the furnace is not getting any power.

The trouble with your furnace could be caused by not getting any electricity. Make sure the electric power to the furnace is turned on and make sure the furnace switch is on as well. This switch is usually located on the unit or on the wall next to the unit. If this switch is accidentally turned off, be sure to turn it back on and then give it a few minutes to reboot.

Check your furnace's fuse through the circuit breaker and make sure the failure to turn on is not because of a blown fuse. Flip the switch back on if this is the case and allow a few minutes for your system to reset and receive power. If the furnace continues to flip its breaker, you may want to contact an electrician or an HVAC professional to see why it is tripping the circuit breaker.

For those with an older furnace, the problem could be with the pilot light. Check to see if the gas is on by checking the pilot light and making sure it hasn’t gone out. This could happen because of a clog or a closed valve. If you have a newer unit that doesn't have a pilot light, follow the gas line back from the furnace to the meter and make sure the handle is parallel to the gas pipe.

If your furnace was built after 1990, it should have an indicator light to diagnose if something is wrong with the unit. Flip the furnace switches on and off again, the furnace will reset, and the indicator light will blink. The flashing will tell you where the problem is, and the key should be on the panel to tell you what each sequence means to find the issue and potentially resolve it on your own.

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