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Why Did My Furnace Stop Working?

Cold house

There are several reasons a furnace can stop working. Some are minor issues that are easily resolved with some troubleshooting, while others mean it’s time to call an HVAC company for professional heating repairs.

In our most recent blog, the technicians at Energy Savers answer some common questions about what causes furnaces to stop working. You’ll learn what to do to correct these furnace problems yourself as well as when it’s necessary to call Energy Savers for assistance.

Reasons Why Your Furnace Stopped Working

Heating systems are full of components, meaning there are several possibilities in regards to what can cause a furnace to stop working. Anytime your furnace fails and you don’t know why, try the troubleshooting steps found below, or contact our team for help. Some common furnace repair issues include:

1. Lack of power

If your furnace suddenly stops working, it is possible that the equipment overloaded its circuit, which caused the breaker to trip. A tripped breaker cuts electricity to the unit so it will not run. The thermostat may also have lost power due to a tripped breaker or dead batteries. A dead thermostat may cause a furnace to stop working because it controls the furnace’s operation – the heating system will not run if the thermostat is dead and is not able to initiate a heating cycle.

  • Remove old batteries from the thermostat and replace them with fresh ones.
  • Check the breakers in your home’s electrical panel to see if those controlling the furnace or thermostat have tripped. Reset if necessary.

2. Malfunctioning thermostat

It’s the thermostat’s job to tell the furnace when to run and when to shut off. Malfunctions in this component are often the cause of a furnace that stops working.

  • Remove the thermostat from its mount, and tighten all wires to ensure a good connection between the unit and your furnace.
  • Dirt and dust on the thermostat’s delicate sensors can disrupt communication to the furnace. Turn the thermostat temperature setting down, and use compressed air or a soft-bristled brush to clean away debris from all switches and contacts.

Thermostats don’t last forever – typically they need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years. If troubleshooting doesn’t solve the problem, you may need a new thermostat.

3. Dirty air filter

If your heating system suddenly shuts down, it may have overheated. Dirty filters can cause a furnace to stop working, as they block air movement through the system and cause internal temperatures to rise to unsafe levels. The furnace is shut down for safety and must cool, but the problem will continue to repeat if the furnace filter is not changed.

  • Inspect the filter and replace it with a new filter, if necessary.
  • Wait for the furnace to cool off for about 15 minutes. Next, turn up the temperature to call for heat.

If your furnace does not restart once a new filter is in place, the system’s limit switch may be stuck in the open position. When this occurs, the system doesn’t get the message that temperatures have cooled, thus it will not start back up. The switch may need to be repaired or replaced.

Find the Source of Furnace Breakdowns Fast

When the above steps don’t get your heating system back in action, call Energy Savers to schedule a service call right away. Our technicians provide quality heating, cooling, and indoor air quality repairs and installations for customers in Columbus, GA, and the surrounding areas.

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