Manassass, VA

PO Box 10258, Manassas, VA 20108

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Reasons Why Your Heat Isn’t Working

It may seem like spring is right around the corner, however, some of the coldest days of winter are quickly approaching. With these below-freezing temperatures looming, the last thing you want to do is wake up or arrive home to a cold house. So what happens if you wake up in the middle of the night to find that your heat isn’t working?

Handling the Problem on Your Own

Despite all your best efforts, you may find that your heat isn’t working when you need it most and in those instances, there are a few things you can do. We always recommend giving our team of experts a call when you first find that your heat isn’t working, but we understand wanting to solve the problem on your own (don’t worry we are the same way). So if that’s the case here are a few things that you can do.

Check That Your Thermostat is Set to Heat

This may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised how many times the thermostat is the culprit for why a homeowner’s heat isn’t working. It is incredibly easy for the switch on a thermostat to get moved or a button to be pushed accidentally. So before you get frustrated about the multitude of reasons why your heat isn’t working, you should always take a moment to check that everything is working properly with your thermostat.

Your thermostat should be at a temperature high enough to kick on the furnace. If it still isn’t kicking on set your thermostat to a high temperature so it won’t turn on and off while you are trying to fix the problem. You will then want to trace the wires back to the furnace to make sure there aren’t any breaks.

Adult male hand with finger pointed on a thermostat

Make Sure the Gas is On

Just like with your thermostat, it is extremely easy for the gas valve to get turned off or even forgotten about. In order to see if this is the reason why your heat isn’t working you will need to trace the gas line from the furnace all the way back to the meter. If there is a handle that is perpendicular to the gas pipe, turn it to make it parallel.

If your furnace or boiler is older it might have a pilot light, if that is the case you will have to remove the front panel and the burner cover to make sure it is lit.

Check for Blocked Ducts

If you happen to notice that the heat isn’t working in only one or two rooms then you may want to take a look at your accessible ductwork. Keep an eye out for any gaps between the sections or any branching points that may be diverting the heat. Make sure that you seal any gaps with metal duck tape instead of cloth duct dupe as the cloth is prone to major leaks.

Flush the Drain Lines

During the peak of heating season your furnace can drain off several gallons of water each day. If the drain lines become clogged with sediment or mold growth the furnace will stop working. If you see that the drain hose is dirty, you need to remove it and fill it with a mixture of water and bleach. After that let it sit for a while before flushing it out. If clogged drains are the reason your heat isn’t working, this process will help you to solve the problem.

air conditioner freezing up

Change the Filter

During the peak of heating season your furnace can drain off several gallons of water each day. If the drain lines become clogged with sediment or mold growth the furnace will stop working. If you see that the drain hose is dirty, you need to remove it and fill it with a mixture of water and bleach. After that let it sit for a while before flushing it out. If clogged drains are the reason your heat isn’t working, this process will help you to solve the problem.

If your blower is running and no heat is being produced, this is also a problem with your filter. You should change flat filters throughout your home at least once a month. We recommend changing your pleated filters at least once every three months however you may need to change them more regularly if you have kids or pets because they help generate dust within your home. A good rule of thumb is if you can not see clearly through the filters then it is time to replace them.

The reason why your heat isn’t working could be as simple as clogged filters!

Clean the Chimney Flute

Another reason why your heat isn’t working could revolve around your chimney exhaust flute. In order to make sure you don’t have birds or a build up of debris in your exhaust flute you will want to first turn off your furnace and turn the thermostat all the way down for safety. You will then dismantle the duct and check for any signs of debris. After you have cleared all of the debris you will want to reassemble the sections in the same order and direction that you used to dismantle it.

Clean Away Debris from Exhaust Vents

The last thing you can check on your own to try and find out why your heat isn’t working is to clean debris away from your exhaust vents. This is particularly a problem if your furnace vents out of the side of your house because it is possible that leaves and other debris may be blocking the intake or exhaust. If your pipes are covered with screen mesh, you may want to replace it with mesh hardware cloth.

However, if your heat isn’t working because your intake or exhaust outside of your home is being clogged by ice you may have a bigger problem on your hands. Don’t worry, if this is the case we are here to help.

Rely on us When your Heat Isn't Working

Ultimately, there are many reasons and causes as to why your heat isn’t working properly. But don’t feel overwhelmed! If you have checked each of these pieces of your system and are at a loss as to why your heat isn’t working then give our team of trained technicians a call!

Our team is skilled in determining the cause behind your HVAC systems issues and we would love to help keep your home warm throughout the rest of the winter season, give us a call today for more information.