What to Do When Your Furnace is Not Working


There may be a time this winter when you wake up in the middle of the night to a freezing house or you come home from work and your furnace is not running. If a situation like this happens to you, you may be wondering if there are steps you can take to make a quick repair or maintenance. Try these simple steps to see if you can easily fix your furnace's issue or if you need the skills of a trained HVAC contractor to make a repair or replacement for you.

Remember, if you are ever in doubt or uncomfortable doing something, call a registered HVAC contractor to take a look at your furnace system for you. The heating and air conditioning experts at Van Natta Mechanical are always standing by to help you, but these DIY tips may help in the meantime.


Make Sure Your Thermostat is On

It may sound funny, but a common problem when a furnace is not working is that the thermostat is either not on, not working properly, or not set correctly. Before assuming the problem is with your furnace, make sure that your thermostat is actually telling the furnace to kick on.

Follow these steps to make sure the thermostat is working correctly:

  • Make sure your thermostat is set to "heat" instead of "cool".
  • Set the temperature of the thermostat five degrees higher than the temperature of the room and see if the furnace and the heat turn on.
  • Replace the thermostat battery or make sure that the current one is inserted correctly.
  • Open the thermostat cover and blow or knock out any dust or debris.

Replace the Furnace Air Filter

After verifying that the thermostat is working correctly and that the problem is with the furnace itself, there are other steps that can be taken.

The problem with your heating system may be that the furnace's air filter is too dirty. When too much dirt builds up in the air filter, the volume of hot air generated by the furnace reduces. It then takes more power to heat your home and your furnace could overheat and shut down.

Always remember to turn off your furnace's shut off switch and set the thermostat to off before opening up your furnace and changing the air filter. The experts at Van Natta have years of experience replacing air filters for all makes and models of furnaces.


Make Sure the Gas is On

If you have a gas furnace, a gas valve may have been turned off with some previous repair. Make sure the handle is parallel to the gas pipe to ensure the gas is switched on.

Additionally, you may have a pilot light for your furnace or boiler. Remove the panel and the burner cover to make sure that the pilot light is lit.


Failing these solutions that you can check on your own, you should probably have the furnace experts at Van Natta take a look at your furnace. We offer furnace maintenance, repair, and replacements, and fresh installations. We currently have a furnace installation special for New Jersey and New York homeowners. If your furnace won't turn on and you tried the above solutions or don't feel comfortable doing them yourself, contact Van Natta or give us a call today at 201-391-3700.



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25 WHITNEY RD, MAHWAH, NJ201-391-3700

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