Your furnace not kicking on can be one of the most anxiety-inducing situations of the winter. Especially when you are snuggled up in your Philadelphia home on a cold winter evening with your family when you realize your furnace may not be working properly. When pressing the thermostat up a couple more times and absolutely no change occurs panic starts to set in. What once was just a nuisance is quickly turning into a cause for concern as the potential dangers start to run in your head – what if the pipes freeze, what if your electronics are damaged, what if we freeze? You are now looking at an emergency furnace repair situation. HVAC Philly who provides furnace repair to the greater Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks County PA area provides 7 reasons your furnace may not be kicking on.
Ideally, the problem of your furnace not turning on will happen during the day and at the very beginning of the heating season. Unfortunately though that’s not always the case because of all the variables that could be causing the issue. Here are some potential causes and fixes of this very stressful scenario:
1) Condensation Problems
There is a condensation pan on the furnace that collects excess water and if the reservoir is full the furnace won’t turn on. Simply draining the pan isn’t a viable solution (but could work temporarily) because it doesn’t fix the issues causing this. There could be blockages preventing the water from draining or the condensation removal pump may have gone bad.
2) Dirty Air Filter – No Excuse
The last common reason for a furnace not kicking on is a dirty air filter which is simply an unacceptable malfunction. Homeowners need to be vigilant in changing their filter up to once a month in the Winter to lower efficiency bills, make sure air quality is pure, and to keep the furnace functioning. Changing air filters takes less than a minute, and doing so regularly can save hundreds of dollars over the life of the furnace.
3) No Pilot Light
Check underneath the furnace to make sure the blue pilot light is lit. Having them go out is quite a common occurrence that can be remedied with the strike of a match.
4) Insufficient Gas Supply
An important bit of troubleshooting to perform on your own is to make sure the gas valve is turned fully on so the furnace has a sufficient supply to fire up the system. Oftentimes, the furnace doesn’t kick on because the homeowner thought that the valve should only be partially turned for safety reasons. The valve should be either all the way on or all the way off (this is one reason why many manufacturers have switched to switches and buttons).
5) Thermostat Issues
This may seem like common sense, however, make sure your thermostat is set to “heating” and that it’s also set high enough to warrant kicking on. If the thermostat says “fan” then make sure you change it to heating. This is a commonly forgotten step in the winter.
6) No Power
Electric or gas, the furnace still needs the power to operate. If it does not kick on check for a blown circuit breaker and look to see that any associated wires haven’t been chewed through by rodents or become corroded.
7) Blower Motor Issues
There should be an inspection window on your furnace, but that does little if you don’t know what to look for. A flashing green light indicates a working blower system, but if it is red or not blinking, there are issues. An HVAC service professional, like the experts from HVAC Philly, in the greater Philadelphia area. will inspect the motor, control board, transformer, and other components that may have malfunctioned.
When to Get Professional Service
If none of the home troubleshooting solutions seem to remedy the problem, there may be some component issues requiring a service call from your local HVAC company.
There are other technical issues that could be leaving your furnace in the dormant phase. It’s best to be safe rather than sorry so call HVAC Philly to get a clean bill of furnace health.
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