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Help! The Heater Is On But There’s No Heat!

It can be incredibly frustrating when something should be working but isn’t. It can be even more frustrating when that something is your heater. If your heater is on but you’re still feeling the chill in the night, the team at Entek is here to assist. Here are some reasons why your furnace may not be working properly and what to do to resolve them.

Help! The Heater Is On But There’s No Heat!

Inspect the Circuit Breaker

If the furnace power switch is on but the system’s not running, try checking your circuit breaker. Look for the breaker labeled furnace, heater, or HVAC. See if the switch is flipped. If it is, reset it to its original position and check to see if the heater kicks on.

Even if resetting the breaker works, you may have a larger problem if the breaker switch continually flips. Contact your HVAC technician if the issue persists.

Check the Thermostat

If the circuit breaker looks good, check whether the issue is with your thermostat. Make sure the thermostat is turned to the heat setting and then raise the temperature at least a few degrees from the temperature reading.

Wait to see if you hear the furnace kick on. If you don’t hear it start, the issue may be with the thermostat. Check to see if the battery is low or, if you have a programmable thermostat, that the settings, date, and time are all correct.

If it still doesn’t turn on, contact an HVAC professional to look at the wiring. If you do hear the furnace kick on but you’re still not feeling any heat, try our other troubleshooting tips.

Ensure the Gas Is Turned On

If you have a gas-powered furnace, then make sure that the gas valve is turned to the on position (the 12-o’clock position). The gas supply sometimes gets shut off, which will prevent your furnace from being able to kick on. So double-check that the lever sits in line with the pipe, which indicates that the gas is turned on.

Keep in mind that you should exercise caution when turning the gas supply on or off. Also, avoid turning your gas supply on if it has been shut off for a while. Instead, call a professional technician to assist with inspecting the gas supply.

Take a Look at the Pilot Light

If your heater is on but not running, then your pilot light may be out. The pilot light is a flame inside your furnace. To check it, open the furnace’s front cover panel.

Once the front cover panel is open, you should be able to see a blue flame. This is the pilot light. If it is burning a color other than blue, then contact your HVAC technician to assess the problem.

If the flame is not burning, you will need to relight it. Bear in mind that if you detect the smell of natural gas, you should proceed no further. Instead, leave your home and immediately contact a professional.

To relight the pilot light, turn the thermostat off and then check the manufacturer’s instructions to find where the pilot light is located. Once you have located it, turn it to the off position. Wait a few minutes and then turn it to the pilot setting. Hold down the reset button as you light the pilot light and continue holding down the reset button for at least a minute once the flame is burning. After about a minute, turn the pilot light back to the on position.

Replace Your Air Filters

Checking your air filters is often another quick fix. If your filters appear dirty or clogged, change them out and see if that helps. If there’s an obstruction such as dirt, dust, or debris, it will block your airflow and prevent your furnace from working at full capacity.

How often you should change your filter depends on a number of factors, such as home size, furnace type, and lifestyle (for instance, whether there are pets inside the home or whether someone in the home smokes). But it’s generally a good idea to change your filter at least once every 90 days, or every season. If you’re unsure, check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Changing your air filter may be all your furnace needs to run more efficiently.

Clean the Air Ducts

Just as with your air filters, you also need to clean your furnace ducts to make sure they are free of dirt, dust, and other debris. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove any debris obstructing your ducts. If you notice your vents are dirty, clean those as well.

A clog in your air ducts can go a lot deeper than your vacuum can reach. If the heater is on and you’ve vacuumed what you can, you may need professional duct cleaning to ensure a thorough job.

Clear Debris from Outdoor Components

Locate your furnace’s outdoor components, such as the heat pump and the exhaust and intake pipes. Ensure they are clear of any debris.

Each change of season usually brings about a unique set of problems. For instance, during the fall season, you may have leaves cluttering your outdoor unit, and during wintertime, you may get snow and ice packed around it. In the spring and summer months, plants and other vegetation are likely to be growing nearby.

If you notice debris accumulating around the outdoor unit, be sure to clear it away. A general rule of thumb is that you should have at least five feet of clearance around your unit for it to work at its highest efficiency. So be sure to rake away any debris and cut back any overgrown plants that are inching their way toward your unit.

HVAC systems are often susceptible to dirt, debris, and mold growth, so regular maintenance and cleaning of the system will go a long way toward preventing many common problems.These are a few relatively quick fixes that may be enough to get your furnace back in working order. But if you attempt to troubleshoot the problem and the issue persists, call the experts at Entek. We’ll inspect your HVAC system and come up with the right solution so that it’s your home that’s feeling heated, not you.

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