Why Isn’t My Heater Working? What to Check for & What You Can Do

It’s the middle of the winter. You go to sleep around 10:00 pm, warm in your 70-degree home even though it’s just 38 degrees outside. Suddenly you wake up in the middle of the night, freezing. You look at the thermostat and the temperature inside your house has slowly crept down to less than 60 degrees.

What happened? Why did your furnace stop working, and what can you do about it? It’s only going to get colder inside your home, so you’ll need to move fast to troubleshoot the issue and determine whether you need professional help.

Here’s what you can do if your furnace suddenly stops working:

  • Check the power switch.
  • Check the fuse box.
  • Check the batteries in your thermostat.
  • Check the air filters.
  • Call a heating professional.

Contact JD Service Now today if your heater has stopped working. We offer 24/7 emergency heating services for residential and commercial customers across Durham, Apex, Chapel Hill, Cary, and the surrounding communities.

Easy Troubleshooting for Home Heating Systems

You can take a few fast and easy steps on your own to troubleshoot a furnace problem:

  • Check the power switch. Although it’s rare for this to be the cause of a heater problem, it could be that the power switch was accidentally flipped into the “off” position. Some furnaces have on/off switches that could be flipped on accident or by a technician or other person who may have been on your property, such as someone you hired to install holiday lights. Check your furnace to make sure the switch is in the “on” position.
  • Check the fuse box. The power supply to your furnace is the next issue to check. If the electrical breaker for your furnace has tripped, reset it. This may get the furnace working again. If the power keeps tripping off, there may be an issue with your furnace or its power supply. A licensed technician should come check it out.
  • Check the batteries in your thermostat. Sometimes, what seems like a problem with your furnace is actually an issue with the thermostat. Try replacing the batteries and make sure your thermostat is set to “heat” or “auto” so it turns on once the temperature in your house goes below a certain level. If you have a smart thermostat, you can try removing it from the wall and reattaching it as a manual reset. Like turning your computer or other electronic device off and on, this may get your heat working again.
  • Check the air filters. If your furnace won’t turn on or is running but your house is not warming up as much as it should, you can try checking the air filters. Clogged and dirty filters will prevent the flow of air through your home and can make your furnace work overtime. They can even cause a furnace to overheat and shut down. Check your filters and replace them if they’re dirty. How often should you change them? We recommend changing out disposable air filters about every one to three months.
  • Call a heating professional. If you’ve checked the power, filters, thermostat, and other areas of your home heating system and your furnace still isn’t working, it’s time to call in a professional. Minor fixes like changing air filters can be done on your own, but problems with the furnace itself or its power supply should be handled by a licensed technician who has the know-how and tools to do the job correctly—and safely.

Call Our Durham Heating Professionals Today!

Whether you have a gas furnace or a heat pump, you’re in for an uncomfortable winter if your system isn’t working properly. Your safety could even be on the line if your system is malfunctioning. If you notice a gas smell or the smell of something burning, you should make sure that your system is off and that you call for professional help as quickly as possible. If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, get out of the house and call the fire department. Carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous, and deadly poisoning can occur within two hours if high levels are present in the air.

JD Service Now is here to address all your home heating, plumbing, and air conditioning needs in the winter, spring, summer, and fall. As local Durham heating professionals, we know what it’s like to live in this climate and how important it is for your comfort and health to have your home at an ideal temperature.

To schedule a heating estimate or emergency furnace repair, call (919) 626-3626 today! You can also learn more about your home heating system by reviewing our blogs: Is It Time for a New Furnace? and The Importance of Annual Furnace Maintenance in Raleigh. We’re here to help!

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