Furnace Not Working? Everything You Need To KnowIt’s almost guaranteed that if your furnace is going to stop working, it’s right when you need it most: in mid-winter with temperatures plummeting!

A malfunctioning or broken furnace in a Calgary home means that the forced-air heating system doesn’t work. No heating in your home means a freezing experience for everyone.

What can you do about it? How can you prevent your family from shivering for too long?

Here’s what you need to know about the steps required to get your furnace working again and how you can prevent problems in the future.

What to do if the furnace stops working

If your furnace is not working or working poorly, don’t try to fix it yourself.

It is important for a professional furnace technician to diagnose and repair any problems.

However, there are a few tell-tale signs that you can check for with your furnace to help diagnose the problem early on when communicating with your furnace technician.

How to inspect a furnace

Inspecting your furnace can reveal important information and might help you prevent an unnecessary call out for a professional.

However, always check the furnace manufacturer’s manual before attempting to check anything on your own.

What to check when the furnace is not working

There are several common problems to check if your furnace stops working.

1. Is the furnace ignition system working?

The first thing to check is the source of power. Most of the older furnaces use a gas pilot light whereas newer ones may use an electric ignition system.

If the pilot light won’t stay lit, it may point to a problem with the settings, the thermocouple, the safety cutoff valve, or a blocked orifice.

If it’s simply a clogged orifice, try cleaning it carefully with a thin piece of wire (making sure that the gas is turned off first). Most other problems will require a call to a professional furnace technician.

With a newer electric ignition, try switching the power switch off and on again. Otherwise, speak to your technician.

2. Is the furnace not producing enough heat?

If your furnace produces some heat but is not heating up enough, it could be due to a range of problems:

  • Is something blocking the airflow?

  • Is the thermostat set properly and the fan on?

  • Are the room heating registers open?

  • Is the filter dirty?

If it’s none of the above, you’ll need a professional diagnosis of the problem.

3. Is the furnace not producing any heat?

If there is no heat coming from your furnace, you can check if:

  • The thermostat settings are correct

  • The power switch is on

  • The gas pilot light is on (for older furnaces)

  • A fuse or a circuit breaker has not blown

  • The motor needs resetting (the switch is near the blower motor’s housing)

4. Is the furnace cycling on and off too frequently?

This is usually a thermostat-related problem that needs a professional to replace the thermostat or fix the existing one.

5. Is there no air being blown?

If the motor is running but the blower isn’t actually moving any air, it may be due to a problem with the belt between the two pieces. This will probably need replacing.

6. Is the blower not switching off?

A blower that doesn’t switch off usually points to a problem with either the room thermostat or the limit switch.

7. Is the furnace operating too noisily?

Sometimes strange noises come from a furnace. These sounds can tell a trained technician a lot about what the potential problem is.

The noises may be like a pinging/popping sound, rattling, high-pitched squealing or grinding sounds and usually come from the metal heating duct.

Be sure to point out any such noises to your technician.

Why is it important to regularly check your furnace?

If you don’t conduct regular checks of the furnace in your Calgary home, you’re asking for problems this winter – and the same problems recurring the following winter.

As well as the inconvenience of a freezing home, repairs can be costly and you may even have to replace your furnace.

Inefficient furnaces also use unnecessary excess power, which is no good for your energy bills or for the wider environment.

Taking sensible precautions by conducting a regular furnace check can help you keep it working at peak efficiency no matter what the next Calgary winter throws at you.

With our icy climate and unpredictable weather year-round, the furnace usually takes pride of place in Calgary homes.

So, while minor heating problems are quite common, it makes a lot of sense to give your furnace some tender loving care from time to time: regular cleaning and maintenance checks keep any problems to an absolute minimum.

Check in with your local technicians

The Pete the Plumber team has been helping Calgary residents and commercial premises stay warm for many years.

We recommend annual furnace maintenance to ensure the furnace is functioning properly and efficiently.

We can also fix broken furnaces with our emergency repair service, which will get your furnace back working at full efficiency with the minimum of downtime.

We maintain complete HVAC systems in Calgary homes and businesses and, if you need a new furnace, we can advise on size and help you install it.

Don’t forget that all our work is covered by our superhero guarantee!

Call Pete the Plumber at (403) 257-1766, we’ll arrange a visit to see what the problem is and advise if repairs or a replacement is required.