Furnace Won’t Turn On? Here’s What to Check

Gas Furnace Repair

It’s the first freezing cold night of the year in Michigan and you go to switch on the furnace… and nothing happens. It could be an simple fix, so here’s what to check:

  • Ensure That the Power Is On – Even though a furnace is gas powered, it requires electricity to run, so first check the power to the unit at the circuit breaker panel. If a circuit is tripped, switch it back to the ON position. If the circuit trips again, DO NOT RESET IT MORE THAN ONCE, this is a safety measure to prevent an electrical fire in the event of a malfunction. Have a qualified technician inspect the power supply.
  • Check That the Thermostat Is Turned To the HEAT Position. You may have to turn temperature up a few degrees before the heat comes on.
  • Check the Furnace Condensate Pan (Drain Pan). During normal operation water will drain from the air conditioner or furnace into a pan. If the drain for the pan is clogged the pan will fill up and trigger a float switch, preventing the operation of the air conditioner and furnace. If the float switch is up (activated), you will need to clear the obstruction to allow water to empty and then reset the switch.
  • Check the Furnace Filter. A dirty and clogged filter will cause the furnace overheat, which in turn will force it to shut down as a safety precaution. If the filter is excessively dirty, replace it with a new filter. A furnace should not be operated without a filter.
  • Check the Pilot Light. This only applies to older gas furnaces, since newer units have electric ignition. If your pilot light is out consult your owner’s manual for the correct way to light the pilot.
  • Check the Gas Supply. If there are other gas appliances in the home, such a gas range or fireplace, check that they are functioning.

If none of the above steps works and the furnace still won’t turn on, call Superior Plumbing & Heating. We’ll quickly troubleshoot your heating system and get the heat back on FAST.

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