Once the cold hits Michigan homeowners, the last thing we want is a furnace that doesn’t turn on. We expect to spend each day warm and cozy. If we find our furnace isn't working, rather than crawling under the covers and hoping the heat will kick on again, play it smart and get the issue resolved quickly to offset Michigan's relentless winter weather.
Safety First! If you smell gas, evacuate the premises and contact your gas provider.
Steps to take on your own if your furnace doesn’t turn on:
1. Is there power to the furnace?
• Make sure your home has power
If heavy winter storms have hit Michigan, did you lose power to your residence? Even though you may have a gas powered, forced air furnace, many components are powered by electricity. Turn on lights, etc. to check for power.
• Is the furnace power switch on?
Most furnaces have power switches in easy view. Make sure it is turned on.
• Next step is to check your electrical panel
If one switch isn’t aligned or isn't in the same position as the others, that breaker, usually labeled ‘furnace’, has probably tripped. Depending on the type of electrical panel you have, you can either slide or click the switch to engage it again.
• Is your heating / utility bill current?
Most Michigan utility companies work with homeowners. If you are behind on your payments and risk or experience a shut-off, contact your local utility today and see if there is help available.
2. Does the furnace have power but isn’t igniting?
If you have a furnace that doesn’t have an electronic ignition you should be able to see your pilot light. If you don’t see your pilot light or your furnace has an electronic ignition and you can hear it click but it doesn’t fire, the fault may be in the ignitor or sensor. Ignitor/sensors can get dirty or can be faulty and stop working.
Switching out an ignitor/sensor is a standard procedure for professional heating and cooling companies. Any given day, furnace service technicians are everywhere throughout Mid and West Michigan servicing furnace sensors / ignitor switches. If you think this is the cause of your furnace not starting you can schedule a furnace technician appointment online here or call for emergency service: 855.259.2280.
3. Make sure the gas supply is open
If the supply was shut off anytime throughout the season during remodeling, repairs, etc., someone may have neglected to reopen it. If the supply is turned off, turn it on. If you smell gas, remove everyone from the home.
4. Is your thermostat working?
Heating thermostats can get bumped, or the temperature set so low that the furnace seems like it isn’t working. If you have a battery powered digital thermostat, be sure to check your battery. Failing batteries can alter thermostat function.
5. When was the last time you changed your furnace filter?
Furnace filters can get dirty and reduce the amount of hot air fed to heat ducts and can even shut off the furnace. Check and change your furnace filter monthly, especially if you have animals in the house. Filters trap pet hair and dander, along with dust and other air pollutants. Keeping this mess out of the heat exchanger and your air is smart, as long as you don’t allow it to become clogged. Always have a replacement furnace filter on hand to help keep your home cleaner and healthier.
If you have walked through the above steps and your furnace is still not turning on – call Aire Serv at 1.866.488.5551 to schedule a technician visit right away!