HVAC 911 - heating and air conditioning emergency service and residential maintenance and repairs - Furnace Repair
25 Nov

What to do if your heat stops working: How to troubleshoot a furnace

It’s a homeowner’s worst nightmare. You come home on a cold winter day to discover your home has no heat. It’s nearly as cold inside the house as it is outside. It looks like you’ll be wearing coats around the dinner table this evening.

The danger of losing heat in the middle of winter is one reason we recommend having your furnace seasonally serviced by an HVAC professional before the cold season begins.

Don’t panic just yet. The solution may be simple, and you may be able to fix the furnace yourself. Here is what you should do if your heat stops working in the middle of winter.

If you follow this advice and still can’t get the heat back on, call HVAC 911. Our network of HVAC specialists makes emergency house calls and can get your furnace back online fast.


Start with the obvious – check the thermostat and gas

First, check that your thermostat is set to heat. This may seem obvious, but it’s a surprisingly overlooked issue. It’s easy to switch the heat off, especially when cleaning. Turn the temperature high enough to kick the heat on, and give it a minute. If that doesn’t work, crank the setting to 90, so it doesn’t turn on and off while you are fixing the issue.

Next, find the gas meter by tracing the gas line back from the furnace. If there is a handle that is perpendicular to the gas pipe, turn it to make it parallel.


Next, check the fuse box

Check the power supply and see if any of the electrical breakers for your furnace have tripped. You may just need to reset the breaker to get your heat going again.

If your furnace continues to blow a fuse, this is a sign of a deeper problem that will require the expertise of an HVAC professional like the contractors of HVAC 911. The fuse acts as a safety device for an overworked furnace.


Finally, check the pilot light

Some older furnaces that use gas or combustion fuel are lit with a pilot light. Newer models will have electric ignition. Relight the pilot light with a match or barbecue lighter, or push the ignition button if available. 

But if this doesn’t light the pilot light, you may have a more complicated issue with a loose or faulty thermocouple, or an orifice may be clogged. This will require the expertise of an HVAC technician like the contractors of HVAC 911.


Other problems that will require a professional HVAC tech

There are numerous other reasons your furnace may have stopped working that will require an HVAC specialist to fix.

You may have blown a blower capacitor –  the part of your furnace that has the appearance of a big battery and starts the fan to circulate heat. If it’s dead, it will need to be replaced by a professional.

Your furnace may have low refrigerant levels. An HVAC technician must tap these off and possibly repair a leak if necessary.

The exhaust flue of your chimney may be clogged. A professional will need to clean it. 


Need professional help? Call HVAC 911 to fix your furnace

If you can’t repair the furnace yourself, call HVAC 911. You will be connected to an HVAC professional who can repair your furnace and get the heat cranking again. Our specialists make emergency calls and can make your home comfortable and cozy in no time. 

All our HVAC Techs are highly trained and vetted. They are drug tested, insured and bonded. Find a local HVAC 911 tech in your area today!