My Furnace Isn’t Turning On

Welcome to The Lee Thompson Co’s blog, where we address a common winter woe: a furnace that isn’t turning on. Imagine a chilling evening in Houston, TX, and you’re looking forward to being cozy, but your furnace isn’t turning on. Don’t worry! We’re here to guide you through troubleshooting tips and tricks to diagnose and resolve the issue. Whether it’s a minor hiccup or a more serious issue, our goal is to help you restore warmth to your home quickly. Let’s explore the steps to diagnose and fix the problem, ensuring your home stays cozy for the months ahead.

You’re in the right place for some troubleshooting you can do before you call in the Houston professionals at The Lee Thompson Co.

Here are 11 things that may be causing your furnace to not turn on.

  1. If you have a furnace that won’t turn on, the first place to check is the furnace switch. This switch is your unit’s power source and is usually located on the side of the furnace or next to it and it looks a lot like a light switch. Verify that the switch is in the ‘on’ position. If the switch is flipped to the ‘off’ position, switch it to the ‘on’ position and see if your system starts up.
  1. If this doesn’t get your furnace back on, your circuit breaker is the next logical place to check. The problem could stem from a blown furnace fuse or a tripped breaker. A tripped breaker will cut electricity to your unit, making it unable to turn on. If you find that the breaker is tripped, flip the breaker to restore power to your furnace, and your furnace should turn on.
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  1. Another common cause of a furnace not turning on may simply be an incorrectly programmed thermostat, a malfunctioning thermostat, or a thermostat with dead batteries. Your thermostat is a very important part of your system and keeps your house at the exact temperature you want. Verify that the thermostat is set to ‘Heat’, at the correct temperature, and that it’s not set to ‘fan only’. Also make sure the batteries aren’t dead and that everything is functioning properly.
  2. Another thing to double-check is the thermostat wires. If these wires become broken or loose, this severs the communication with your furnace. By removing the thermostat, you can do a visual check to ensure the wires are securely attached and that there is no visible damage. If you don’t feel comfortable assessing or repairing the wires, one of The Lee Thompson Co’s HVAC professionals is always willing to help. Give us a call at (713)766-4846 anytime.
  1. Your next stop if your furnace still won’t turn on is to check out your air filter. If it’s been a while since the filter was changed, your airflow circulation may have become blocked. When airflow is blocked, it will keep your HVAC system from functioning properly. When the system does not have proper airflow, it will struggle to keep up, and there is a risk of overheating. To keep this from happening, it is recommended that filters are changed every 90 days for average households without pets.
  1. If you’ve tried all these things and your furnace still isn’t turning on, you will want to ensure that your gas valve shut off on the furnace’s gas line is turned on. If the handle is parallel to the gas line, you know it’s on. If the handle is perpendicular, however, this means the gas is turned off. You will want to rotate the handle until it is parallel to the gas line.
  1. While you’re in front of the furnace, check to make sure none of the access panels are ajar. Your furnace has many fail-sales placed in its design to protect homeowners. One of these safety features will turn off your furnace if any of the access panels are out of place. Do a visual inspection to make sure no panels are missing screws, out of place, or have been damaged in any way.
  1. One of the most common issues when your furnace is not turning on it a dirty or faulty ignition sensor. If you hear your furnace click on but not start running, this is likely your problem. This is something you can check yourself if you feel comfortable, or you can call on the experts at The Lee Thompson Co to take a look. First, make sure you turn off the gas to the furnace and then remove the front panel where you will find the ignitor or ignition sensor near the burners. If the sensor or ignitor is dirty, you can remove it carefully with a screwdriver and gently clean it – be careful not to break it. Once cleaned, replace it back how you found it, put the front panel back on, turn on the gas, and then turn your furnace on. Adjust the temperature on your thermostat and see if your furnace now starts up. Keep in mind it may take a few minutes to start running, so be patient. If you’d rather have one of our experts take a look, contact us today – Request Service
  1. Another thing you can check if your furnace isn’t turning on is your drain pan. This condensation drain pan is located under your furnace and is meant to collect excess water. If this pan becomes full, it will trigger the Safety Float Switch to shut down the whole system. Emptying and replacing the pan is a great short-term solution, you’re likely dealing with a clogged condensate line, drain, or a faulty pump. One of the experts at The Lee Thompson Co can diagnose and solve this problem for you.
  1. The Lee Thompson Co team undergo continuous training to ensure they are always ready to answer the call when issues arise. There are a variety of other issues within the system that can cause issues with your furnace turning on.
    • A bad capacitor
    • A dirty blower motor
    • A tripped High Limit switch
    • A triggered pressure switch

A call to the professionals at The Lee Thompson Co will be needed to properly fix these things. We’d be happy to get you taken care of (713)766-4846.

  1. Last, but definitely not least, it may be time to replace your aging system. The Lee Thompson Co offers a variety of brands with a free installation quote to help you find the system that is best for you. Count on the team that has been the HVAC Expert in Houston for over 60 years –

As we conclude, remember it’s essential to prioritize the maintenance of your furnace to ensure you don’t run into a furnace that won’t turn on during the colder months in Houston, TX. If you’re attempted our troubleshooting tips and your furnace still won’t turn on, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at The Lee Thompson Co at (713)766-4846. Our dedicated team is ready to assist you in restoring comfort and warmth to your home. Don’t endure the cold – let’s work together to get your furnace running smoothly again!