Heater Not Working? 4 Common Furnace Problems and How to Fix Them

It’s been a long winter day at work. You come home, get out out of the car, shiver as you walk to your door, glad for the warmth waiting for you inside. You open the door and … it’s cold? Your heart sinks as you realize that your furnace is acting up again.

Few things can kill your mood like HVAC problems, especially when it’s cold out.

In this article, we’ll discuss four common issues from your heater not working, and what you can do to fix them before calling a technician in.

1. Tripped Fuse/Circuit Breaker

One of the most common HVAC problems and a very simple heating system repair is a tripped fuse. There are many different reasons why a fuse could trip or a circuit could break, but they all arise because of the same root issue: the circuit is overloaded. That means too many appliances are on at the same time, a plugged-in appliance short-circuited or some kind of arc fault occurred.

Thankfully, this problem is simple to fix. Just locate your home’s fuse box. Identify the fuse that is connected to the furnace. If the fuse is flipped off, there’s your problem. Flip the fuse back on, turn the HVAC system back on, and you’ll be warm again in no time.

2. Clogged Filter

Another common issue that results in your heater not working is a clogged filter. This heating repair is one of the simplest heating system repairs as well. Find the filter in your furnace — it will typically be somewhere in the intake.

Take it out, and hold it up to the light. If light just barely comes through, or if it doesn’t come through at all, it’s past time to replace the filter. Just purchase a new one of the same model, and put it right back in.

If the filter isn’t super-clogged, but still has significant dirt on it, you can get away with cleaning it instead of replacing the entire thing. Use a clean damp cloth to brush some of the trapped dirt and grime away, and make a mental note that the filter will probably need to be changed in the next few months.

3. Dysfunctional Thermostat

Your thermostat controls the entire HVAC unit. Thus, it stands to reason that if your thermostat is failing, your entire system will appear as though it is failing, even though the unit itself may be in perfect condition.

Most thermostats are simple to replace and are just a matter of unscrewing the housing and switching out the thermostat. If you’ve noticed any problems with your thermostat not taking inputs, the question of how to fix a heater could be answered with the simple replacement of that component.

4. Lack of Maintenance

Just like your car or any other piece of major equipment, your HVAC unit has a maintenance schedule that must be adhered to in order for you to see it achieve peak performance.

If you’ve strayed away from the maintenance schedule, there’s still time to get back on it before your unit breaks down further. Call in professional heating repair, and the furnace repairman will assess the work needed to get your heater fixed.

Now You Know How to Fix a Heater!

Now you know what to do if you’re ever faced with a heater not working situation!

If you’re interested in other tips to keep your home running smooth, check out our home improvement section!

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