What To Do If Furnace Stops Working? Resolving Tips


Rima Chatterjee

Check the Basics

what to do if furnace stops working

To check the basics for your gas furnace, the first thing you need to do is turn on the power switch to see if your furnace receives electricity. If not, you can check the circuit breaker to ensure it hasn’t blown. Another aspect is to check the thermostat settings, as it may have been incorrectly set the heating temperature. You can also check the air filter if it is clogged and needs replacing. Furthermore, it is imperative to check the pilot light, ignition sensor or flame sensor and ensure they are all functioning properly before calling a professional.

Turn on the power switch

Powering up electronic devices is easy, but it’s important to check all parts before turning them on. Start by finding the power switch and check that it’s in the OFF position. Then, turn it ON firmly but gently.

Sometimes, there are extra switches inside that need to be powered up. If nothing happens after turning on the main switch, refer to the manual or contact a professional.

Ignoring steps or powering on a device without checking all parts can lead to short-circuiting and possibly burning wires. People have damaged their devices by not following basic startup procedures, like correctly turning on the power switch. This can result in repairs or even buying new devices, so it’s best to check before flipping the switch.

Check the circuit breaker

When the power goes out, the first thing to do is check if the circuit breaker’s responsible. Find the breaker box and switch off plugged-in appliances.

Open the panel and check for any breakers that are flipped to “off”. Flip them back to “on” – if unsure, call an electrician. Don’t forget to find out why it happened, overloaded circuits can be dangerous!

Plus, inspect and test all breakers in your circuit breaker box at least once a year.

Lastly, make sure your thermostat is not set to ‘Arctic tundra’ before blaming your HVAC system.

Check the thermostat settings

Ensure accuracy of thermostat settings for a comfy living space! Here’s how to check:

  1. Compare the current temperature reading to desired one.
  2. Verify programmable thermostat is correctly programmed.
  3. Examine wiring & connections for damage/loose connections.
  4. Replace batteries if issue persists.

Keep an eye out for warning messages or error codes on the thermostat display. These signify underlying problems.

Regularly clean & maintain HVAC system to prevent future issues. Inspect ducts for leaks & change air filters when needed. This ensures accurate temp regulation & reduces energy costs.

Check the air filter

Maximizing Engine Performance: Check the Air Filter.

Regular air filter checks are key for your engine’s health. Want to ensure high performance and long engine life? Monitor the air filter often.

  • Clogged air filters can alter engine combustion, reduce fuel efficiency and boost pollutant emissions.
  • It’s simple! Remove the filter and hold it up to a light. Can’t see through it? Change it!
  • Don’t over-clean or blow out debris. This can trigger particles to become part of the filter, reducing filtration performance.

Neglecting something as basic as checking the air filter puts your wallet and Mother Nature at risk. Keep a close eye on this vital component and maintain optimal engine performance.

Did you know that car engines didn’t have air filters before the 1950s? Volkswagen was the first to introduce an oil-bath air cleaner in 1963. Nowadays, it’s hard to think of engines without them! Before checking the pilot light, make sure you have a pilot, and not just a moody teenager in the cockpit.

Check the pilot light

It’s essential to keep the ignition system working properly before trying to start an appliance. Check the flame that ignites the gas, also known as ‘the pilot light’.

StepInstructions
Step 1Find the Pilot Light – Most appliances, like boilers and water heaters, have their pilot light near the burner assembly. Locate it in your device.
Step 2Check for Closure – Ensure that the pilot light is open and not blocked by anything.
Step 3Look for a Stable Flame – Turn on your device’s gas valve and check if the flame is steady. If not, ignite it with a matchstick or electric igniter.

Remember that maintaining a steady pilot flame means the appliance’s ignition system is in good condition. This prevents gas leakage threats, keeping you and your home safe.

Check the Flame Sensor


To check the flame sensor in your gas furnace, locate the sensor and clean it thoroughly. This can be the solution to many common furnace problems. In this section, we’ll explore two sub-sections that will guide you through the process of checking and cleaning the flame sensor to ensure that your furnace is working efficiently during the heating season.

Locate the sensor

The flame sensor is a must for your HVAC system. To find it, locate the part that detects the flame in your furnace or boiler. It’s usually near the burner assembly with a probe in the pilot flame.

First, turn off your furnace or boiler and let it cool. Then, remove the front panel to uncover the inner workings of your appliance. Look for a metal rod with a ceramic base near the burner assembly, this should be vertical and pointing to the burners.

If you see multiple rods, check the manual to determine which one is the flame sensor. If unsure, search online for an image of the part on similar models. If still confused, contact a HVAC technician for help.

Different manufacturers place the flame sensor in different spots, so consult your specific model’s manual for maintenance instructions. Ensure your sensors are working properly to avoid stress when diagnosing heating issues.

Regularly inspect your HVAC sensors for dust and corrosion. This will guarantee optimal performance from your unit all year. Get rid of any gunk and make the sensor sparkle!

Clean the sensor

To keep your burner running smoothly, it’s important to keep the flame sensor clean. Otherwise, it can cause problems. 

Here’s how:

  1. Turn off the furnace and locate the sensor. Shut off the gas supply too for extra safety.
  2. Carefully unscrew and remove the sensor from its bracket. Don’t damage any attached wires.
  3. Clean the sensor with fine-grit sandpaper or a soft cloth. Focus on removing dirt and grime. Don’t scrub too hard.
  4. Put the newly cleaned flame sensor back in its holder and screw it tight. Reconnect any disconnected wires.
  5. Turn the furnace on and test it to make sure it works properly.

Check for dirt buildup regularly, as it can misread signals and stop the burner from working.

Check the Ignition Sensor


To troubleshoot an ignition sensor problem in your gas furnace, follow these easy steps in order to get warm air back in your home. Start by locating the sensor and then clean it. It’s important to know where the sensor is located in order to clean it properly. This section will show you how to quickly identify the sensor and what to do next.

Locate the sensor

The ignition sensor is important for the car’s engine. To find it, do these 6 steps:

1)Look at the owner’s manual to see where it is.
2)Look for a wiring harness with 3 or 4 wires.
3)Look near the flywheel at the front of the engine or backside of the crankshaft pulley.
4)Follow the cables from the spark plugs to the distributor cap then to the sensor.
5)Check the wires for damage or corrosion.
6)Ask a professional for help if needed.

Inspect the sensor wiring regularly and replace any worn out parts right away. A bad ignition sensor can reduce fuel efficiency and emissions.

Pro Tip: Use an oscilloscope to check the ignition sensor instead of a multimeter. If your car’s ignition sensor is dirty, just clean it with some cleaning supplies.

Clean the sensor

The ignition sensor is a must-have for any vehicle’s ignition system. This needs to be in great condition for the car to work correctly. To make sure that your sensor performs optimally, you must often do some maintenance. 

Here are six steps to maintain it:

  1. Disconnect the battery. It’s important to do this as a safety measure before any maintenance.
  2. Find the sensor. It is usually near the distributor cap, but this may vary depending on your car’s make and model.
  3. Take out the sensor. Carefully unscrew it from its housing.
  4. Clean it with a wire brush. Remove all debris from around the sensor for better performance.
  5. Clean the connections. Between the battery and distributor cap, there could be one or more connections. Clean them with sandpaper or other suitable materials.
  6. Replace and reconnect. Put everything back in reverse order and make sure all connections are secure before reconnecting the battery.

Cleaning the ignition sensor regularly helps reduce power fluctuations and improves engine starting. It also prevents dirt build-up which could affect future engine operation.

Sometimes problems related to the ignition sensor remain even with regular maintenance. If so, it’s best to get help from a professional auto-repair person to accurately identify any issues.

Some owners don’t give their ignition sensors the care they need until there’s a problem with the car. This increases the chance of malfunction that could have been prevented with regular maintenance.

Check the Blower Motor


To check the blower motor in your gas furnace with the aim of troubleshooting the issue, here are the sub-sections that will guide you to make sure the motor is working properly: locating the motor, inspecting its position, and verifying whether it is getting power. These steps can help you diagnose and fix problems related to the blower motor, ensuring that your furnace can keep your home warm and comfortable during the heating season.

Locate the motor


To spot the blower motor, it’s important to know its place in the vehicle’s HVAC system. Try following these 6 steps to find it:

  1. Look for the air intake grille at the bottom of the windshield.
  2. Unscrew or remove any clips holding the grille.
  3. Unclip or unscrew the air filter from the housing.
  4. If needed, take out any other covers that can be hiding the blower motor.
  5. Check for a small fan-like device connected to wires. Most likely, this is the blower motor.
  6. If you’re still confused, read your car owner manual or hire a technician for help.

Remember, different vehicles may have different HVAC system designs. This could lead to various ways of locating their blower motors.

One customer had heard strange noises coming from their HVAC system when they turned on their car. But after inspecting the blower motor, they found no problems. The issue was later traced back to debris trapped in their cabin air filter, leading to restricted airflow through the HVAC system.

A bit of motor checking can make sure your heating and cooling runs smoothly.

Check the position of the blower motor

Ensure your vehicle’s climate control system is running smoothly by checking the blower motor.

Here’s how in 6 steps:

  1. Find the blower motor – usually beneath the dashboard on the passenger side.
  2. Look for any physical damage or debris.
  3. Examine the mounting bracket and screws to make sure they are secure.
  4. If needed, switch out any damaged components or clear away debris.
  5. Tighten all screws and bolts to avoid rattling or vibrating.
  6. Test the blower motor by turning on your vehicle’s climate control system.

Additionally, you must inspect the wiring for any electrical faults. 

Pro tip: Always disconnect your car battery before tinkering with wiring to avoid potential electrical hazards.

Checking the blower motor can help avoid overheating and costly repairs. Transform your blower motor into a superhero and get ready to brave the cold winter ahead.

Check the blower motor for power

It’s necessary to Check the blower motor for power, to guarantee your car’s HVAC system works efficiently. This needs understanding of the vehicle’s electric system and components. 

Here is a 4-Step Guide to Check the blower motor for power:

  1. Turn the ignition on. Set the HVAC system to maximum heating or cooling.
  2. Look for the fuse box – usually on the driver’s side, under the dashboard.
  3. Take the blower motor relay out and check it for any discoloration or damage. With a multimeter, test if there is voltage flowing when connected to power.
  4. If there is no voltage in Step 3, replace the relay. If there is voltage, but the blower motor does not work, it would be best to replace the blower motor.

It’s important to notice that different vehicles have different layouts and components, thus, if you encounter difficulties, refer to your car’s owner manual.

Regularly inspecting your car’s blower motor stops issues in the future. If you don’t inspect it, a broken blower can cause an uncomfortable drive and put too much strain on AC compressors and refrigerants. Consequently, take care of your car by doing regular maintenance checks!

Check the Limit Switch


To check the limit switch on your furnace with the sub-sections of “Locating the limit switch,” “Checking the position of the limit switch,” and “Testing the limit switch,” you need to familiarize yourself with where this important safety switch is on your heating system. 

Once you’ve found it, you’ll need to ensure that it’s in the correct position and functioning correctly. In the following sub-sections, we will guide you through each step of the process to ensure that your limit switch is working as it should be.

Locate the limit switch

For your device to work properly, it’s crucial to identify the limit switch. Here’s a brief guide on how to do this efficiently:

  1. Read the user manual – Check the accompanying documentation for possible locations.
  2. Check the external panel – Look for labels like “open” or “closed” that signify limits and relay positions.
  3. Examine the internal panels – For some appliances, look at screws, clips, or hinges used in the panels.
  4. Follow the wiring – Trace the wiring from motor connections back to control theory, where the limit switches will likely be installed for easy access if needed.
  5. Ask an expert – If you can’t find it after these steps, get help from an expert to see if the device has one installed.

Gaining more knowledge on this can help prevent limit problems. Remember that if it’s not working correctly, replace it promptly to avoid overuse damage. Amazingly, Honeywell Electric Company invented and popularized Automatic Control Systems way back in 1885. Be sure to put the limit switch in the right place or your equipment may go off the rails.

Check the position of the limit switch

Diagnosing a malfunctioning system? Don’t forget to check the limit switch! It’s vital to confirm it’s in the right position for proper system functioning. Here’s how:

  1. Locate the limit switch.
  2. Compare its position to manufacturer specs.
  3. Adjust if needed, using manufacturer directions.
  4. Test and troubleshoot to ensure successful adjustment.

Knowledge is key. Before troubleshooting, familiarise yourself with device regulations and product documentation.

For safety, follow these tips:

  • Respect safety procedures.
  • Read up on device rules.
  • Follow manufacturer guidelines.

Follow these suggestions for safe, successful results. Ready to take the plunge? Put that switch to the test.

Test the limit switch

To effectively check a limit switch, follow this guide:

  1. Power off the equipment and unplug it from any source of electricity.
  2. Locate the limit switch, usually near the end of its movement range
  3. Check for damage or wear, such as cracks or frayed wires.
  4.  Use a multimeter to test continuity while moving equipment.
  5. Test resistance levels across each terminal while manually actuating the switch

It’s essential to regularly check and replace damaged limit switches for safe and efficient operation. Professional help may be needed for complex machinery. Faulty switches can be dangerous, leading to accidents or injuries.

The National Safety Council states that 4.6 million workplace injuries occur in the U.S. yearly, showing the importance of maintenance for workplace safety.

Don’t want an unpleasant situation? Check the heat exchanger before it’s too late.

Check the Heat Exchanger


To check the heat exchanger for your gas furnace, with possible cracks or damages, locate the heat exchanger first. If you hear noises and don’t feel warm air, it is a good idea to inspect the heat exchanger. In this section, we will discuss two sub-sections: locating the heat exchanger and checking for any cracks or damage that might impede the functionality of your furnace.

Locate the heat exchanger

Locating the heat exchanger is vital to the proper functioning of your HVAC system. It’s the device that transfers heat from one liquid to another through a solid wall. Here’s a guide that’ll help you find it:

  1. Switch off the power of your furnace.
  2. Follow the ductwork until you reach the metallic component, which is your heat exchanger.
  3. Still unsure? Consult a manual or get professional help.

Bear in mind that different HVAC systems may have their heat exchangers in various places. Check for models in furnaces, ACs and boilers to locate it without causing damage.

For optimal service life, regularly clean or replace filters and hire professionals for timely diagnosing of heating elements. This will also stop damage and boost efficiency.

Check for cracks or damage

It’s essential to keep heat exchangers functioning properly. They have been in use for almost 150 years and play critical roles in many industries. Inspect for cracks, leaks, and blockages. Also, make sure the exhaust flue is not blocked. Clean regularly with a specialized brush. If problems go undetected, carbon monoxide can leak into the home, causing severe health issues or even death.

Schedule maintenance checks to avoid more significant dilemmas. Better check that gas line twice, unless you’re looking for a fiery farewell,

Check the Gas Line


To check the gas line in your furnace, start by locating the gas line and inspecting it for any leaks. This section of the article on what to do if your furnace stops working will guide you through the process of checking the gas line. We will discuss two sub-sections: how to locate the gas line and how to check the line for leaks. By following these steps, you can ensure the safety and efficiency of your heating system.

Locate the gas line

Confirm your gas appliances are safe to use, locate the gas line and check its condition. Here’s how:

Consult property blueprint. Ask landlord or local authorities.Look at all gas-powered appliances, find where gas supply comes from.If can’t locate line, search basement, crawl space, and outside line coming in from street.Use gas leak detector tool to detect leaks along pipeline and fitting joints.If any issue, call a professional technician qualified in natural gas.

Not sure? Get help from a licensed professional technician. Remember: Inspect gas pipelines annually by certified pro. Better safe than sorry, check for leaks before you light that joint.

Check for leaks

Ensure your gas line’s safety! Regularly examine for leaks. Neglecting this can harm you and those around you. 

Here’s a 6-step guide to verify gas line integrity:

  1. Turn off appliances & pilot lights connected to the line.
  2. Locate the main valve & shut off its supply. Make sure it’s perpendicular to the pipe.
  3. Examine exposed pipe fittings & joints for wear/corrosion.
  4. Spray or sponge soapy water on suspected areas. If bubbles appear, there’s a leak!
  5. Replace or tighten affected components, if needed.
  6. Turn on the main valve. Light appliances one by one to check proper functioning.

Remember: Never use matches or lighters to test for gas leaks. They can ignite flammable gases.

Pro Tip: Label all pipes at regular intervals. Avoid playing Mr. Fix-It unless you’re a certified gas line expert. Call a professional before your DIY turns into a D-I-E project.

Call a Professional


To get your furnace working again, when the problem seems out of your comfort zone, call a professional. In this section ‘Call a Professional,’ you’ll know when to call for a professional and how to find a reputable technician. Also, you’ll have an idea of what to expect when a furnace repair is needed. These three sub-sections give you a heads up on when and how to proceed for your safety and comfort in your home during the heating season.

When to call a professional

Identifying the need for professional help is vital in certain scenarios. When technical expertise is required, an individual should search for a qualified expert. This may include complex electrical repairs, plumbing issues, or complex home renovation jobs that require unique expertise and instruments.

Tackling these tasks without the proper skills or qualifications can lead to damaging outcomes, harm, and safety threats. Lack of experience can cause more issues that cost more money and time to fix.

It is necessary to research before choosing a professional. Ensure that they have reliable credentials, licensure, and experience in the relevant field. Verify their know-how prior to starting a project to prevent any future mishaps.

Pro Tip: Seeking help from a professional could involve spending extra cash, but it could save you time and give the best solution for your needs. Finding a trustworthy technician is like finding a needle in a haystack, but with a greater chance of getting scammed.

Finding a reputable technician

Trust only an expert when it comes to securing a skilled technician. Look for specialists with experience, certification and a proven track record in the field. A background check can help you find reliable technicians.

Know their qualifications to determine their expertise. This can help you avoid potential discrepancies or damage caused by improper handling.

Ask for reliable referrals from colleagues or read online reviews. This gives insight into the technician’s caliber. Personal recommendations are also a good indicator of success.

What to expect during a furnace repair

When repairing your furnace, call a professional to inspect the system. They’ll identify any issues with the thermostat, fan blade, gas valve, or electrical circuits. An experienced team will then perform necessary repairs and replacements.

Expect an in-depth diagnostics procedure. Technicians use advanced tools to identify and fix problems quickly. Complex issues may take longer, as parts may need to be ordered or extra visits scheduled.

For example, a homeowner’s furnace was excessively noisy. The problem was only found after a winter maintenance procedure. The expert found loose nuts, which were easily tightened. No need to suffer in silence, a professional can help your furnace sing.

Common Furnace Problems


To address some common furnace problems that you might face in your home gas furnace, check your system by yourself and repair it in order to save money and time. In this section, we will introduce you to the most common furnace problems and their solutions. These include clogged air filters, dirty intake or burner, issues with the blower motor or fan, faulty thermostat, blocked exhaust vent, heating element failure, and safety switch tripped.

Clogged air filter

Furnace owners often face a common issue: an obstructed air pathway. This is due to a clogged air filter, which accumulates dirt, dust and debris. As a result, the furnace’s airflow decreases, making it work harder to heat up your living space. This causes its heating efficiency to drop off significantly.

It’s important to recognize the symptoms of a clogged air filter. Look out for reduced airflow at vents, increased utility bills, and frequent system breakdowns. Regularly replacing or cleaning filters ensures optimal operation of your furnace.

Beware not to use the wrong filter. Though they may appear cheaper or more efficient, they can damage your unit, leading to costly repairs and a shorter life-span.

In 2018-19, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission received hundreds of reports about incidents caused by dirty filters and other issues. These led to furnaces emitting poisonous carbon monoxide gas. To avoid such dangerous situations, inspect furnace components, including the air filter, and have them professionally serviced if required.

If your furnace were a person, a dirty intake or burner would be like a severe case of allergies and asthma.

Dirty intake or burner

The furnace can get into trouble when the intake or burner are full of dirt. This raises the risk of overheating, which can damage other parts. Dirt blocks airflow, leading to too much carbon monoxide and soot. It can also push up energy consumption.

So, regular cleaning of both components is important. To prevent costly breakdowns, people should inspect their furnace parts for cleanliness. Neglecting this could cause expensive fixes.

If your furnace’s blower motor is like a late friend, there are solutions. Keep it clean and take care of it, that’s the key.

Issue with the blower motor or fan

The furnace’s components, like the blower, are key for circulating air and regulating heat output. But, if there’s a prob with them, it can cause major issues. If the airflow’s blocked, it might overheat, not cool.

A common prob homeowners face: a failing fan or blower motor. If your unit’s running but no air comes out, it could be this. Or, if you hear weird noises, something might be moving inside.

Maintain your thermostat or face the consequences! Dirty air filters put extra stress on the blower, so clean and replace ’em regularly. Per ‘Home Guides’ pros, not maintainin’ can shorten the lifespan of mechanical equipment by 25-30%.

Faulty thermostat

A malfunctioning temp regulator can cause issues with your furnace. Examples include: inconsistent heating or no heating at all. If your furnace won’t start up, it could be a defective thermostat or inadequate battery power. A defective thermostat can also make the furnace keep running, raising energy bills and wearing out the equipment.

If you have frequent furnace cycling, it could be an indication of a faulty temp regulator. This means the thermostat can signal the furnace to turn on/off, leading to heat inefficiency and energy bills. To fix this, you may need a replacement of the broken unit.

Poor wiring between components can cause communication errors and stop your furnace working optimally. Damage to components can lead to incorrect readings of room temperature or other signals which affect the furnace’s performance.

Energy.gov estimates that up to 45% of household energy goes to space & water heating costs. If you’re feeling overheated, it might be your furnace vent not working.

Blocked exhaust vent

The exhaust system of your furnace is a key part of it running well and efficiently. When blocked, this can be dangerous, so it’s important to take action quickly.

A blocked vent can mean the furnace struggles to push out exhaust gases. It can’t protect against toxic gases that could enter your home, leading to carbon monoxide poisoning, which can even be deadly. To be safe, check your furnace’s vents regularly.

Common blockages can be outdoor debris such as bird nests, leaves, snow drifts, etc. When dealing with blockage threats in the exhaust or intake pipes, switch off the furnace.

Get professional help, ventilation systems are complex and need special gear for examination and cleaning. And many HVAC companies have maintenance plans to help avoid issues.

Every winter, some people find their heat has stopped working, which can be life-threatening. An expert can stop this from happening and save you from expensive heating bills or damage costs. When your furnace’s heating element stops working, it’s like that one coworker who leaves early on Fridays, unreliable and annoying.

Heating element failure

The component responsible for generating heat malfunctioning can be a major issue. Heating mechanisms wear out with use. This problem causes insufficient heating, uneven temps in the home, and increased energy bills. Early detection of this issue can prevent it from becoming major.

Keeping heating elements clean is important. Dirt and debris, improper installation, and sediment buildup can cause issues. Clean them often with solvents or seek professional help.

Neglecting regular maintenance can also harm other furnace components. Clogged filters reduce airflow, increasing the risk of overheating and damage to heating elements.

The U.S Department of Energy says that with regular maintenance, a furnace can last up to 20 years. So, take care of your furnace and it’ll take care of you.

Safety switch tripped

When the furnace is disturbed, a safety system activates. This is called a ‘safety circuit interruption’. An increase in temperature can cause the switch to turn off. To prevent harm, turn off the furnace as soon as possible. The longer it runs whilst the safety switch has been tripped, the more likely it will cause damage.

Cleaning air filters regularly can reduce heating issues. Replacing the filter frequently allows better airflow. Experts at the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) suggest cleaning air ducts every three years to maintain optimal airflow.

Around 72% of US households use furnaces for heating. But, many forget to maintain their furnace systems, causing problems later. Like a bad comedian, furnace problems can leave you in the cold.

Conclusion


If your gas furnace stops working, there are some steps to take before calling an expert. First, check the breaker and make sure it has power. Look at the air filter too, it must be clean. Then, turn up the thermostat and listen for any noises. If nothing is heard, check the pilot light or ignition sensor. A clogged filter or blower can reduce efficiency and cause overheating. A faulty flame sensor or limit switch may also be the culprit. If these look like the issue, call a technician. Remember to stay safe when working on the furnace. Turn off both the gas valve and power switch before inspecting it. And, never try to repair a gas leak or heating element; call a certified HVAC professional immediately.

About the author

Debarghya Roy: A heating systems author, Passionate about energy efficiency and sustainability, Sharing insights and empowering readers through informative blog articles.