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Why Is No Heat Coming From Your Furnace?

When winter hits and the temperatures drop, the last thing you want is a furnace that seems to be working but isn’t actually blowing hot air through the vents. When your furnace is not working properly during freezing temperatures—and blowing cold air into your home—it can be extremely frustrating. Fortunately, the cause of your troubles may be simpler than you think… and you may even be able to fix the problem yourself.

Furnace Troubleshooting Tips for Homeowners

Get your furnace working now. Follow these DIY troubleshooting tips to figure out why warm air isn’t coming out of your vents.

Turn Off the Gas!

Before all else, if you own a gas furnace, ensure that you cannot smell a gas leak. If you even remotely suspect a leak, turn off your HVAC system‘s natural gas supply through your system’s gas valve and call your fuel supply company ASAP.

Look at the Thermostat Settings

There should be a switch for the furnace fan on your system’s thermostat. The switch should have two fan settings, ON and AUTO. When the fan is in the ON position, it will constantly blow air through the home. This setting means that you may feel cold air coming from the vents. When you place the switch in the AUTO position, however, the fan in the furnace turns on only when the unit is actually heating your home.

In short, ensure the thermostat’s fan switch is on AUTO to prevent room temperature air from being circulated through your home.

Check the Air Filter

Can’t remember the last time you changed your furnace filter? If so, there is a good chance that the filter is too dirty to allow the furnace to work properly. A dirty air filter can interrupt the airflow over the heat exchanger and cause overheating problems. At this point, the high-limit switch will trip for safety reasons, causing the burners to shut off.

Be sure to change your air filter every month to improve indoor air quality and prevent furnace problems.

Inspect the Pilot Light

Older furnaces rely on a standing pilot light to operate. Sometimes the pilot light can be blown out and will need to be relit so that the burners can produce heat. If you don’t see a blue flame near the bottom of your furnace, you will need to access the reset switch and use a lighter to light the pilot again.

Check the Condensate Line

Newer high-efficiency furnaces create water when they operate; this excess moisture empties through a drain line. If the line becomes blocked, there will be water buildup in the furnace, which will trip the overflow kill switch, shutting down your furnace. Pooling water around the furnace is a good sign that the condensate line is blocked and needs cleaning.

Make Sure Heat Registers are Open

Not paying attention to your heat registers makes it hard to notice when they accidentally get closed. This problem is all too common, especially in a home with small children who love to play with just about anything. Before you call in a professional to inspect your furnace, make sure that all the registers are fully open and are not being blocked by any furniture or toys.

guy freezing inside

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