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My Furnace Won’t Start – 5 Things You Can Check Yourself

Furnace Won’t Turn On – 5 Things You Can Check Yourself

You want to make sure you are warm this winter if you live in Carterville and across Illinois. Southern Illinois winters can be brutal, so it can be frustrating if your furnace won’t turn on. It’s even more disappointing if you hear the furnace kick on but no warm air comes out.

As temperatures start to get cooler, you’re going to want to check your furnace to ensure that it is working properly before the winter is fully upon us. But, what happens if you go to test your furnace and it won’t kick on or kicks on but doesn’t produce warm air?

Furnaces are made to be reliable (with proper maintenance of course.) They are expensive but very much needed in a home or business. So, if you are questioning “what to do if my furnace won’t turn on” or have a furnace that won’t turn on, here are some reasons for your furnace not working. These reasons can range from super simple to very complex. You can either fix them yourself or leave things like motors, wires, and thermocouples to the professionals.

Furnace Troubleshooting

Luckily, there are troubleshooting steps that you can take to try to fix your furnace before calling up a professional. Make sure you know what kind of furnace you have before you start making repairs. The most common furnace in Southern Illinois is a forced air, gas furnace. Here are some troubleshooting tips for fixing your broken furnace:

Check the furnace filter. Is it clean?

f it’s dirty, the airflow out of your registers may seem low. If it is super dirty it can completely obstruct airflow. Make sure that all registers are open.
Inspect pilots ignition light. (Electronic ignitions do not have a pilot light). If your furnace clicks on or initiates the start cycle, but does not fire up, you likely have a faulty or dirty igniter/sensor. 

This is one of the most common furnace problems. Under normal conditions, the furnace is notified by the thermostat to click on, the igniter gets red hot and then initiates the entire process of igniting the gas and blowing the hot air. If you feel comfortable enough, check the error codes in your furnace user manual to make sure you do not have a more serious problem. To fix the furnace that won’t start, turn off the power to the furnace-and turn off the gas. 

Remove the front panel and look for the igniter/sensor. Refer to your user manual to locate the igniter. It is usually located near where the flames shoot out of the burners. Basically, the furnace will not continue in the starting sequence because the sensor/igniter is dirty and needs to be cleaned. It is very easy to remove the sensor with a screwdriver. 

Clean the probe on the sensor by rubbing it with some medium grain sandpaper. Do a thorough job, but be careful not to break anything. Replace the sensor exactly the way you found it. Put the front panel back on, turn on the gas, and then turn on the power. Turn up the temperature on your thermostat to see if your furnace will fire up. If this doesn’t solve the problem, time to give a technician a call.

Check your thermostat.

Make sure the temperature control settings are set to above the current room temp. Also, make sure it is on the HEAT or AUTO setting. You can try to get the furnace to turn on by setting the thermostat to as high as it will go.
Make sure the furnace is on. There will be a power disconnect switch next to the furnace. Yes, even gas furnaces use electricity. You can also check the fuse/breaker to make sure the furnace breaker has not been tripped.

Is the gas supply to the furnace open?

Check to make sure the gas control valve to the furnace is open. If it is not open then your furnace could have no fuel. Or, if you smell gas, leave immediately and call a repair company.

If you try these tips and still have a furnace that won’t turn on, then give us a call.

RSP Heating and Cooling is the best company to go to for furnace repair and maintenance.
RSP Heating and Cooling is one of the top heating and air companies in Southern Illinois and the surrounding areas.
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