What Can Cause a Furnace to Stop Working?

Returning home to a malfunctioning furnace or waking up to one in the dead of the night can be a traumatizing experience. Before you call a furnace repair expert, make the effort to get to the root cause of the problem. When your furnace technician arrives, you can pinpoint the exact cause of the problem, helping the expert ensure that your nightmare is short-lived. Here are some common reasons why furnaces stop working.

The Thermostat Not Telling the Furnace to Start Working

Sometimes, troubleshooting a furnace can involve ensuring that the thermostat is working the way it should. Open your thermostat’s panel and blow any dust or debris that has settled in and around it. The thermostat should be level and firmly attached to the wall. Make sure there are no loose wires hanging out of the thermostat. Check for and fix breaks using electrical tape. The program should display the right time, date, and am/pm settings. If you are unable to make the program settings work, bypass them.

Dirty and Clogged Filter

One of the most common causes of furnace problems is dirty and clogged filters. A dirty filter can restrict airflow, causing the heat exchanger to go into overdrive and eventually shut off. To steer clear of furnace issues, change your filter at least once every month. Though pleated filters last longer (typically three months), consider changing them more frequently if you have pets or kids.

Gas Valve Not Turned On

You won’t believe how frequently this happens. Oftentimes, someone turns off a gas valve and forgets to turn it back on. If you have an old furnace, remove the front panel and the burner cover. Make sure it is lit. If you are using a new furnace, locate a handle perpendicular to the pipe and turn it so that it is parallel.

Unclean Chimney Exhaust Flue

It is not uncommon for birds to get drawn by the warmth of the chimney and fall into the exhaust flue. To find out whether this is the problem plaguing your furnace, turn your thermostat and furnace off and dismantle the duct. Check for and remove debris. After completing the task, reassemble the sections in the correct order.


Restricted Drain Lines

High-efficiency furnaces drain out several gallons of water everyday during winters causing the drain lines to become restricted by sediment. When this happens, the furnace shuts down. Check your drain hose. If it looks dirty and clogged, remove it and fill it with a mixture of water and bleach. Wait for several minutes before flushing the mixture.

Looking for a cost-effective and sustainable solution for furnace repair in Sacramento? Let South Placer Heating and Air help. Whether you are using a gas- or oil-fired furnace, our team will create a custom maintenance and inspection plan that best fits your needs. Our furnace repair experts know everything there is to know about furnaces. To consult a furnace repair expert in Sacramento, call us at 916-246-2089.