5 Reasons Your Furnace Is Not Working & Ways to Fix

5 Reasons Your Furnace Is Not Working & Ways to Fix

There is nothing better than being greeted by a burst of warm air when you step into your front door on a cold day. Your furnace works hard to keep you toasty during chilly winter nights. Since your furnace is required to fulfill a demanding operational schedule, it is not abnormal to encounter issues with your system during the winter season. To help restore the safety of your home, we have created a list of 5 types of issues that may be the source of your furnace not working properly.

Why Is My Furnace Not Operating Properly

Deactivated Pilot Light or Flame

Older gas furnaces are equipped with a standing pilot light that is designed to keep your house warm. Each unit has gas burners that ignite whenever the gas valve opens up and allows gas to flow through. If your gas burners are not activating, this is a sign the pilot light in your furnace is blown out.  The pilot light is a small flame located just above the burner tray at the bottom of the furnace. If you check underneath and verify it’s not lit, you can try carefully lighting it. If it won’t come on, call a licensed technician in your area to take a look.

Broken Electronic Ignition System

Is your furnace not igniting on a cold day? This is an indicator of a malfunctioning electronic ignition system. Nowadays, the latest gas furnaces rely on electronic ignition components instead of a pilot light. Since an electric igniter does not require a continuous supply of natural gas, it is considered safer to operate in your household. In addition, electric igniters are utilized in electric furnaces to create heat for your living space. 

In an electric furnace, an electric current passes through a furnace igniter switch at the bottom of your furnace to heat it. If your furnace is not working correctly, take a look in your system to determine if you can see the igniter glow or hear it click. These signals are a sign your system is on. If you don’t see any light, or if you hear rapid clicking, this is a sign of an issue that needs to be addressed.

Air Filter

Clogged Air Filters

A large number of homeowners call us worried about their furnace not working properly when all they needed was a brand new  air filter! The gas to air ratio coming from your furnace has to be just right to create an ignition for home heating. Dirty air filters block the airflow needed to get the right blend.

Dirty Flame Sensor

All gas furnaces are equipped with a safety feature that is designed to close the gas valve if the pilot light or electric ignitor do not turn on. When the flame sensor or thermocouple becomes contaminated with dirt or dust, an electrical signal will be distributed to deactivate the furnace to prevent a toxic gas leak in your home. If your furnace is not igniting, this is a sign you need to remove and clean the thermocouple in your furnace. To clean the thermocouple rod, shut off your furnace’s power at your circuit breaker. Next, remove the rod from the back of the furnace (located before the gas burner). Once you wipe down the thermocouple, install it in your furnace and restore the power to see if the problem is resolved.

Tips & Insights: 5 Signs Of a Malfunctioning Furnace Heat Exchanger

Service Door is Open or Closed Incorrectly

Many people don’t realize that an ajar service door can actually stop the operation of your home heating system! If you just changed your air filters or had a repairman in your furnace—your furnace might not be igniting because the door got left open. Before contacting a Stephens team member, head to your furnace and double-check that your service door is completely shut. You’ll be glad you took the time to be sure.


6 Ways to Troubleshoot a Furnace That is Not Igniting

We gave you a handful of reasons your furnace might not be heating properly. Now, we’ve got even more methods that can be used to fix a furnace that is not igniting correctly. Modern furnaces have drainage lines that remove leftover gas condensate. You can flush yours out if you think it’s clogged up with dirt, mold, and other debris. Another part of the furnace system that you can try clearing without professional help is your ductwork! 

Remove accumulated dust or pests from inside to see if your circulation comes back. Exhaust vents can experience blockages as well. However, these would be due to obstructions like leaves or birds. Unless you’re completely comfortable, Stephens plumbing would be happy to perform this for you too.You should have no problem verifying that your registers in your home aren’t closed, as well as moving any furniture out of your vents’ ways. 

Your final troubleshooting test can be to shut off your furnace and then turn it back on after a minute or two. Sometimes, your electronic ignition system furnaces will go into lockout mode in the event of a power outage (or something similar). If your furnace isn’t working no matter what you try, request us at (630) 968-0783 or on our website. Our expertise will be able to pinpoint the issue and resolve the dilemma in no time.

Furnace Repair & Installation Services

Stephens Plumbing has dealt with common furnace troubles such as clogged air filters, contaminated burners, and broken hot surface ignition systems countless times. It shows in the quality of our industry-leading knowledge and experience! You can rest easy knowing we’re more than capable of providing your household with top-notch furnace repair and installation services. In addition, our team offers other types of HVAC repair services such as air conditioning repair, humidifier replacement, and boiler installation.

When it comes to making your home feel comfortable, trust the certified and licensed experts at Stephens to get it done right. Speak to one of our team members at (630) 968-0783 or request us online for fast, convenient, and high-grade furnace services.