Why is the Furnace Running, but There’s No Heat?

When all is well with your home’s furnace, it can maintain a comfortable and cozy temperature within your home. In fact, you may not even hear it running in the background when there are no issues.

While your furnace is built for a long, efficient lifespan, homeowners may experience inevitable furnace mishaps.

For example, have you ever turned on your furnace only to feel no heat? If so, read along as we discuss several reasons why this may be happening.

The Pilot Light is Out

Pilot lights operate as the ignition source for the gas burner within a furnace. Older models incorporate pilot lights that remain lit at all times. It is far easier to accidentally blow these pilot lights out than many homeowners realize.

If this occurs in older furnace models, you can quickly reignite the pilot light by following these simple steps:

  1. Cut power to the furnace.
  2. Place the gas valve in the ‘pilot’ position.
  3. Press and hold the red button for 60 seconds.
  4. Release red button.
  5. Place the gas valve in the ‘on’ position.
  6. Return power to the furnace.

If a newer furnace model supplies your home’s heat, we recommend calling on trusted HVAC professionals to further investigate and make any necessary repairs.

The Thermostat Isn’t Working

It is very common for homeowners to overlook the possibility of a thermostat being responsible for furnace mishaps. However, these are often the most straightforward repairs. If you are concerned that your home’s furnace is not producing heat, we urge you to inspect your thermostat settings. As the outside temperature drops and the inside of your home requires heating, it is imperative that you program the thermostat to your desired temperature and set the fan to ‘auto.’

If your thermostat’s fan setting is set to ‘on,’ the fan will continuously run, which is counterintuitive. Once a furnace is signaled that the home’s desired temperature has been reached, it will immediately stop producing heat. Therefore, if the fans are set to blow continuously, only cold air will be circulated. All household members must be educated on the functions of your thermostat so as to avoid this easily-overlooked mishap.

Another thermostat ‘quick fix’ is to change out the batteries. Some thermostats run off of your home’s central power; however, other thermostats rely on self-contained batteries. If this is the case for your thermostat, check the battery life regularly. Even ‘low’ batteries can cause a thermostat to misbehave, so air on the side of caution and replace the batteries when in doubt.

Airflow is Blocked

If an obstruction is present within your ductwork, airflow will be restricted, leading to reduced heat production. While this may sound like a significant issue, there are several easy fixes to consider.

First, check to ensure that all vents are open and clean. Dirty or closed vents will reduce airflow. If your louvers are stuck, remove the vent covers and give them a good cleaning. If you find that the louvers remain jammed, it is possible that your vent covers need replacing.

Lastly, if you notice that airflow is restricted from one vent in particular, further investigation is needed. Remove the vent cover and make certain that no items have fallen into the vent, subsequently creating an obstruction.

A Burner is Broken or Clogged

Many furnace components are prone to dust and muck, the burner being one of them. Fuel will be restricted if your furnace’s burner is clogged with dust, dirt, and filth. While the furnace fan will still blow, only cool air will be circulated.

In this case, a good burner cleaning is required. If you classify yourself as a determined and DIY-savvy homeowner, then you may very well clean the burner on your own. However, if you question your ability to do so safely, we recommend phoning your friendly professionals at Proskill.

Dirty Flame Sensor

Similar to dirty burners, dirty flame systems can cause annoying furnace mishaps as well. You see, a dirty sensor is incapable of sensing a flame within your furnace. If the flame sensor isn't sensing a flame, your furnace will automatically shut down. In this instance, the fan may continue running and will circulate cool air. Just another reminder that reiterates how essential furnace maintenance is for homeowners!

Faulty or Broken Ductwork

Countless homeowners underestimate the extreme temperatures that their ductwork is exposed to year after year. Taking this into consideration is necessary when investigating the cause of an underperforming furnace. Temperature fluctuations can easily cause ductwork to develop weak spots and even become unhooked.

Take a better look at your ductwork to confirm that this isn’t the case. If your ductwork has come unhooked, fasten the ductwork and reinforce it with duct tape.

Know When to Call the Professionals!

Not every furnace issue is a DIY job. After troubleshooting each of these common furnace repairs, if problems persist, call on your trusted HVAC professionals at Proskill today.

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