Posted by: Valley Services HVAC | December 7, 2009

Basic Furnace Troubleshooting: Volume 1-Furnace Not Producing Heat

You know me, I am not a technician nor have I ever been.  But being my prideful self there are things I try to do on my own.  I like to learn new things but I also want to be safe as well.  Working with furnaces, or any part of the heating and cooling systems, you want to be safe.  So when you do anything with wires or electricity, please shut off the breaker to the furnace.  Thank you.

There are a few problems with a furnace that you might be able to fix on your own.  It could do with the thermostat or maybe just a switch could be turned off.  Now I think we can agree that you do not want to pay $85.00 plus tax to have someone flip a switch.  As much as I want your business, I never want to bill someone for something like that!

Pictured below is the basic view of the inside of a furnace.  It demonstrates where the cold air is sucked through the return air filter, then travels up the furnace to the heat exchanger where the air is warmed.  Then it travels throughout your home in the ductwork.

furnace cold air hot air

That is the basic purpose of the furnace.  Now, there are about 300 things that go on behind the scenes to ensure that your furnace starts up and heats your home for you and your family.

Now, if your furnace is not producing heat, let’s discuss a few things that you might be able to fix on your own:

  • One of the problems might be that your thermostat is not set to a high enough temperature, which means your home is the temperature that your thermostat is set to.  Try to turn your thermostat up to a higher temp.  If your furnace starts up, you should be all set.  Good Work!  Cost to you $0.
  • If you turn your thermostat up and nothing happens, your thermostat might be broken and you could need a new one.  Now, this is where it might be worth contacting your local HVAC service provider.  If you wish, you could try to put in the thermostat on your own, but that is also assuming that the thermostat is the problem.  A qualified technician would be able to troubleshoot and find exactly what the problem is.
  • Another problem could be that your circuit breaker tripped or the fuse was blown.  If the circuit breaker tripped, these easy steps will help you to get it going again.  First find the Electrical Service Panel (usually a gray box in your basement).  Open it and find the tripped breaker, it is not going to be in the “On” position but tilted toward the “Off” position.  To Reset the breaker, push the switch all the way to “Off” and then back to “On”.  If your thermostat and furnace are communicating correctly and your stat is calling for heat, your furnace should start up.  Good Job!  Cost to you $0.
  • If you are not getting heat, your pilot light could be out and it might just need to be relit.  If you are not sure how to do this please ask someone who does or call us!  715-386-7131

Hopefully this helps you now that heat will be needed all the time.  It is getting cold out!

Thanks again for reading

Bryan Corbett


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