Troubleshooting: Why Heat Not Turning On – Snell Tips

compressed-jerry-snell-working-furance-repair-omahaIt’s that time of year. Fall is here! And soon, if not already, you’ll be firing up the furnace to heat your home. Of course, you’ve heard it before, and we’ll remind you again, before you start the heat, our Gretna, Nebraska-based heating and cooling company highly suggests that you schedule a furnace check-up appointment to diagnose any problems, and clean the system. In Omaha, Bellevue and Gretna metro areas, please call us at 402-332-3531.

Furnace Not Turning On?
So, what do you do if your furnace does not kick on? Snell Heating and AC offers some troubleshooting tips – as you await your next HVAC appointment.

First off, double check that the thermostat is turned to heat, and that the temperature is set to – above room temp. You may consider replacing the batteries. Step #2. Check the breaker box to see if the furnace breaker is turned off. If the answer is yes, switch it to on.

“From our experience, it’s not out of the ordinary for a child to play with the breaker box, and flick the furnace switch to off,” notes Jerry Snell, owner of Snell Heating and AC, whose been in the business since 1998.

Check the furnace filter, if has not been changed recently, like within a month, replace it.

More Troubleshooting
Furnace still not kicking on? Listen to hear if anything is blowing, like a motor? Check the registers. If the furnace does not turn on, what comes out of the registers would be air room flow.  This troubleshooting step would have eliminated a breaker issue.

Go to the furnace. Do you see a pilot light or a glow coil? Do you smell gas? If you don’t see the glow or  pilot light, and you do smell gas call your HVAC company right away.

Spider Webs Can Cause No Heat
“We run into cob webs obstructing key elements of the furnace, triggering no heat. I had one two nights ago. Spider webs filled the PVC pipe intake of a high efficiency furnace.  I removed them, and all was OK.

Potential Problems Galore
There are many causes of a furnace not turning on. It can be a number of things. There could be a loose wire, a defective glow coil, a defective vacuum hose or a pressure switch. The heat exchanger may need replacing.


Cracked Heat Exchanger. Credit: Susan Stern

Cracked Heat Exchanger Calls Up In Metro
The heat exchanger – is the heart of the furnace, and it’s the most expensive system part to replace. “We received quite a few calls from customers (Fall 2016) mentioning they don’t have heat. We found quite a few cracked heat exchangers. At that point, a decision needs to be made, to either replace the heat exchanger or the entire furnace.

Replace Big Part or Buy New Furnace?
You’ll want to consider the age of the system. If the system is out of warranty or over 15 years old, you want to strongly consider buying a new, more efficient furnace. If you decide to replace the heat exchanger, be aware that this is basically like a sometimes pricey band-aide.  After all, in a couple of years, if your system is old, you’ll want to replace it all together,” added Snell who also mentioned that  financing is available with approved credit – should you opt for a furnace replacement.

No Heat? We hope these troubleshooting tips help you discover why maybe your furnace is not turning on.

Annual Checkups Advised
All in all, consider making it a habit to schedule a yearly furnace checkup to make sure the system performs well and safely producing warm, comforting heat for you and your family.

Ask for an appointment now online.

Send a note or Call Rita Snell direct at 402-332-3531


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