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Steps to take when your furnace isn’t working.

Steps to Take if Your Furnace Isn’t Working

The cold temperatures of the winter season are finally upon us and 

Gone is the warm sunshine and cranked air conditioning that we have been accustomed to during the summer, and lets be honest, through most of November too. But what happens if all of a sudden now that the cold is here your furnace has decided it isn’t ready to take on the job of warming your house? Don’t panic, because you aren’t alone!

Many homeowners enter winter with the uncertainty of whether or not their furnace is going to work correctly. This problem can come with many fears. What if your pipes start to freeze, are your electronics and items in your home get damaged from the cold, or what if you and your family start to freeze yourselves? All of these fears are completely understandable. And there are a few issues that may be causing your furnace to act up.

The Why Behind Your Furnace Problems: Before Calling the Professionals

When you find that your furnace isn’t working, there are a few things that you can do on your own to determine the root of the problem. The first step you can take is to check your thermostat to make sure that it is set to heat. We know that it sounds simple and silly to say, but it is a common mistake for homeowners to keep their thermostat on the fan or cool setting and forgetting to switch their system over to heating. Another thing you will want to check if your furnace isn’t working is that the power is still working and that there isn’t a blown circuit breaker. Whether your furnace is electric or gas it still needs power to operate, so checking your power source and making sure that wires haven’t been chewed or have been corroded is a very important step in diagnosing your furnace’s problem.

If neither of those scenarios seem to be causing your problems, your furnace may not be working because the pilot light is out. Make sure to check underneath your furnace to see if the blue pilot light is lit. It is very common for this light to go our especially after not being in use for a while. If this is your problem it can be fixed with the simple strike of a match. The last little bit of troubleshooting that you can do on your own is to make sure that your gas valve is turned on fully, which will help ensure that there is a sufficient supply to fire within the systems. More often than not your furnace will not kick on because of the fear that the valve should only be turned partially for safety. However this is not the case, the valve should either be all the way on or turned all the way off.

When to Call the Professionals About your Furnace not Working

If you make your way through that list of easy fixes and find that none of those issue are the source of your furnace not working, then it’s time to call in the big guns! At Express Tech Air, our team is here to help you with all of your furnace repair needs.

Your Furnace Won’t Turn on at all

A common problem that people face when their furnace isn’t working is a frozen or blocked intake pipe. During the winter in Virginia, snow can cover the opening of the intake pipe and make your system run less efficiently. It is always a good idea to check your intake pipe throughout the winter months to ensure that your furnace is running, and continues to run smoothly.

The Furnace is Blowing Cool Air

There are many reasons why your furnace isn’t working, one of those reason is that it may be blowing cold air. The blower motor is one of the biggest parts of your furnace and ironically very difficult to locate. Repairing this motor is a very tedious and dangerous process which is why it is best to call in the professionals to ensure your safety and your homes safety.

The Condensate Pump is Not Working

When it comes to your furnace the condensation pump is the part that pushes hot water that has been created by the boiling system. If this happens to be is the part that is acting up within your furnace it can cause major water damage among other costly repairs. Making sure that this isn’t the reason your furnace isn’t working is important in order to avoid serious damage to your home.

Your Furnace Hot Surface Ignitor is Not Working

The hot surface ignitor is the part of your furnace that heats up when electricity passes through it. So if the power is out or there is no electrical connection your burners will not work properly. The life span of this part is from about 3-5 years so if your furnace is not working, the hot surface ignitor may be the culprit. This problem can be fixed with a test where we measure the resistance of the surface ignitors in ohms to see if it needs to be either cleaned or replaced all together.

The Furnace Flame Sensor is Not Working

Another part on your furnace that may be causing you a headache is the flame sensor. The Flame sensor is a safety feature located on your heating system that works to regulate the flow of gas to your furnace. When there is a flame, the sensor will feed gas into the combustion chamber, creating heat throughout your home. If it is not sensing a flame, the gas valve will automatically shut off in order to prevent gas from building up. An issue that we see a lot with flame sensors is that it can be corroded with a carbon build up which makes it difficult to see the flame. If this is the reason why your furnace isn’t working it is important to call in the professionals immediately. 

The Pressure Switch is Not Working

The furnace pressure switch monitors the pressure of air intake and exhaust. So if this piece switches off it will shut your furnace down completely bringing the cold from outside straight into your home. This however, is a useful safety measure that protects your home from gas leaks and works to prevent your furnace from running if there is a flaw in the system. This problem typically occurs because there is a blockage, preventing your furnace from running and operating correctly and it could be the reason why your furnace isn’t working.

Bringing the Heat

Regardless of why your furnace isn’t working, our team at Express Tech Air works with you to get to the root cause of the problem. If your furnace isn’t working correctly, give us a call! We provide 24/7 services and want to ensure that you are safe and comfortable during the cool winter months.

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