It is cold what’s wrong with the heater?
You suddenly realize it’s freezing inside your house and the dreaded truth hits you. The furnace isn’t working. Before panicking try these tips first. You might be able to fix the problem without calling a repair service.
Check the thermostat
Many times the problem lies with the thermostat, not the actual furnace. Make sure it’s set to “heat.” Then set the thermostat five degrees above room temperature to see if the furnace kicks on.
The batteries might be low. Try replacing them.
Open the thermostat and blow out any dust. Check for loose wires. Follow the wires to the furnace and look for breaks. If you find a break, simply splice the wire back together and wrap with electrical tape.
Switches and breakers
If the thermostat is working properly and there’s still no heat, time to head to the furnace room. Make sure the heater is turned on. There is a standard power switch either on or near the furnace.
Next, check that the breaker is on. See if there is a blown fuse.
Find the blower motor. Make sure it’s cover is tightly secured. If not, the furnace will shut down for safety. If you think the motor was overloaded, press the reset button. If nothing happens, wait 30 minutes and try again.
Gas and pilot light
Look at the gas pipe and find a handle. Perpendicular is “off,” parallel is “on.” Make sure the handle is turned until it’s parallel to the pipe.
If the pilot light is out then you’ll need to relight it. To do this, twist the knob to “pilot,” press it down and light the pilot with a gas lighter. Hold the knob down for a minute then twist it to the “on” position. Be sure to turn the thermostat all the way down before lighting.
Change the filter
A dirty filter will cause your furnace to overheat and shut off. Turn off the power switch and thermostat before changing the filter. Flat filters should be replaced every month. Pleated filters are typically good for three months. However, you should still inspect them once a month by holding them up to the light. If you can’t see light through it then change it.
Clean the chimney exhaust flue
Birds and debris sometimes fall into the exhaust flue. This is a pipe that leads from your furnace to outside your house. Turn off the furnace and thermostat. Then dismantle the part that connects to the furnace and clean out any debris. Take careful notes so you know how to put it back together.
Clean the drain line
Furnaces drain off water, so if the line becomes clogged, the furnace will shut down. Mix ¼ cup bleach with 1 cup water, remove the drain line, and fill it with the mixture. Let it sit for five minutes then flush it out with water.
Call a repair service
If none of these solutions solve the problem, call a professional. You might have a dirty burner, faulty pilot light, or another issue that is best handled by a professional. They’ll diagnose the problem and give you options to fix it.