We receive thousands of questions year-round here at West Allis Heating & Air Conditioning, but the most popular one this time of year is always, “Why won’t my furnace turn on?”

Whether it be in person, via telephone, live chats, or emails, we can always count on a few of these every day in the unforgiving Wisconsin winter.

The functionality of furnaces depends on multiple different parts working together to keep your home comfortable. With that in mind, there isn’t one concrete answer to the question at issue, but we’ll run through a few different possibilities to help you out.

Check Your Circut Breaker

A power surge or outage may have tripped your breaker. Locate your breaker box and ensure the switch controlling your furnace is in the “ON” position.

Check Your Thermostat

Batteries – It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many times the solution was to change the batteries in the thermostat. Unless your thermostat has a wired power source, try swapping the batteries and see if that gets your furnace back up and running.

Settings – Other seemingly apparent factors that tend to go overlooked before you should spend money on a technician to come to your house include;

  • Making sure your settings haven’t been changed from “Heat” to “Cool”
  • Making sure your programming schedule hasn’t been accidentally reset or changed
  • Switching your thermostat to “Hold” mode and increase the temperature about 10 degrees to see if the furnace blows warm air

If none of the troubleshooting above resolves your issue, continue reading.

Wi-Fi Thermostat

Check Your Power/Ignition Switch

Furnaces have a power or ignition switch located on the physical unit, which is normally in the basement. The switch usually looks just like one you’d use to turn your lights on or off. Make sure it hasn’t been accidentally switched to the “OFF” position.

Check Your Filters

Extremely dirty filters that restrict proper airflow may trigger a safety feature in your furnace that won’t allow it to ignite. For a one-inch furnace filter, it is recommended that you change it every month. For a high-efficiency furnace filter (four-inch or larger), it is recommended that you change it every six to 12 months. If you have pets, allergies, or smoke indoors, you may want to change your filter more often.

This is a crucial part of your furnace maintenance.

Air Filter Program

Check for Error Codes

Newer furnaces have numerous safety devices or switches on them. They can set off an error code that is displayed by blinking lights or dots on the unit. Check your owner’s manual to determine what the error codes are indicating and take appropriate action to correct the issue.

Identifying the error code prior to calling a professional can help expedite the process of getting heat back into your home.

Other Potential Causes

Above are some of the most common causes for a furnace to fail or not turn on. There can still be many other reasons that can be more complex for the average person. If you’re not skilled in HVAC and the troubleshooting above doesn’t work, consult a professional to avoid any further issues or even injury.

The experts here at West Allis Heating & Air Conditioning are available 24/7/365 to help you get your furnace back up and running – contact us today!