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Furnace Not Working? 3 Quick Fixes To Try Before Calling An Expert

Posted by Kelly on Dec 15, 2015 12:00:34 PM


When your furnace goes out, you may want to reach for the phone to call your HVAC expert right away. However, it may not always be as dire as it appears when it comes to a dysfunctional furnace. There are some simple things to try yourself when your furnace is not working – three quick fixes to try before calling an expert. 

1. Make Sure Your Thermostat Is In The Right Mode

It may seem like a no-brainer, but making sure your thermostat is actually set to the ‘heat’ setting is an important first step when checking why your furnace isn’t turning on. If it is in the heat mode, what temperature is the thermostat set at? If it’s set cooler than your current indoor temperature, it won’t go on until it needs to warm up to the selected temperature. You can try moving it up a few degrees and see if it kicks on. No need to feel embarrassed if that fixes the issue. Sometimes, it’s the little things that get overlooked. 

If your thermostat doesn’t seem to be working at all when you move it, then it’s probably a problem with a faulty thermostat. Perhaps it needs new batteries – or if your thermostat is an older model, it may have run its course.

2. Check The Power/Fuse Box/Pilot Light

Another easily overlooked area that can cause a furnace to not work is a lack of power going to your HVAC unit. If it’s around the holidays and you are using lots of extra power for Christmas lights, electronics, and other items, then it may also be a prime time that you see a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker. Check your circuit panel or fuse box to make sure everything is in working order.

If you have an older gas furnace with a pilot light, make sure the light is still on. Instructions for re-lighting it are usually found attached to the furnace, but if not, here is a general guide from

3. Change The Filter

We say it time and time again if you read this blog, but the most important rule for keeping a functional furnace is to change or clean the filter regularly. A dirty air filter leads to improper airflow, and improper airflow can lead to your HVAC unit working too hard to do its job and that means it can overheat and break down. If you change your filter regularly – meaning a standard 1" air filter every 1-2 months, and a 4" or 5” air filter at least twice a year – you’ll help prevent those issues and prolong the life of your system. We’ve even got a simple guide to the whole filter thing in our Filters 101 article.

If you’ve checked for these three simple solutions and it still hasn’t solved your furnace issue – then it’s time to call in a professional. The technicians at any of our Carrier dealers are always ready to help. Find one near you by going to!




Topics: Heating