What Should I Do If My Furnace Stops Working?

Keywords: furnace, stops working

Modified description: A man fixing a furnace that stopped working in a house.

When a chill starts to run through the air in the autumn and winter, you’re probably going to turn on your furnace for the first time since the early spring. And if your furnace doesn’t turn on or work properly, it may be hard to understand why.

In this quick article, we’ll discuss what you should do if your furnace stops working – and some basic troubleshooting steps you can take to see if you can resolve the issue on your own.

Troubleshooting Your Furnace

Before you try to attempt any kind of troubleshooting, or even call a furnace repairman, you should take steps to ensure that there are no dangerous gas or exhaust leaks coming from your furnace.

Make sure that any carbon monoxide detectors in the area read “0”, and that you don’t smell the telltale “rotten egg” smell of natural gas leaks. If everything seems safe, you’re free to continue. Here are the steps you should take to troubleshoot your Winnipeg furnaces:

  1. Check the thermostat – While it may seem obvious, this step is often overlooked. Make sure that your temperature control is set above the current temperature of our room, and that the system switch (if using central HVAC) is set to HEAT or AUTO. The FAN switch should also be set to ON or AUTO for continuous airflow. If you’re still not getting any response, try raising your thermostat to the highest possible position, and see if the furnace responds.


  1. Clean the filter – A clogged air filter can prevent your furnace from properly distributing warm air throughout your home. Check your filter, and ensure that you replace it with a clean filter, if necessary.
  2. Check the pilot light – If your furnace is over 20 years old, it may have a pilot light, just like a gas stove. If this is the case, it may have gone out, and need to be relit. It’s a simple and safe process, and you should be able to find the instructions to do so with the documentation about your furnace – but if you’re uncomfortable doing so, call a furnace service professional.
  3. Take a look at the circuit breaker – There’s a chance that your furnace could have tripped your circuit breaker. Make sure that all of the breakers are in the correct position – and if your furnace trips your breaker multiple times, have it looked at by a service professional.
  4. Ensure the gas supply valve is open – It’s possible that the gas supply valve was closed when you turned off your furnace for the season. This is usually located under your natural gas meter of your home. Some furnaces may also have an individual gas flow valve that needs to be opened in order for gas to be supplied. Ensure both of these valves are open.
  5. Check your registers – If you have closed multiple registers in your home, your furnace may not have enough airflow to work properly. For best results, ensure that all of your lower registers in your home are opened, and that your intake registers are fully-open and clear of debris.
  6. Check for leaking ducts – Leaking HVAC ducts can be responsible for up to 30% of the energy loss in furnace systems. If you’ve got serious duct leaks, they could be responsible for sub-par heating performance. You’ll need a professional to inspect your ducts, and seal any leaks that may be present.
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Each of these troubleshooting steps is relatively straightforward, and can help you diagnose common problems with your furnace. Give them a try, and see if you can identify the source of your furnace problems!

Contact A Furnace Repair Professional For Repairs And Maintenance

If none of the above tips helped resolve your furnace problems, you’ll need the assistance of a furnace repair professional to get your furnace back in working order. We do not recommend trying to service or repair your furnace yourself – this can be risky, dangerous, and can just make things worse.

So if you don’t know why your furnace isn’t working, trust an HVAC professional. They’ll get your furnace back in action ASAP – and you won’t have to sit in the cold any longer!

1 thought on “What Should I Do If My Furnace Stops Working?”

  1. Thank you for helping me understand what a pilot light is and why it’s important to furnaces that may be 20 years old. The furnace at my uncle’s place hasn’t worked at all since we’ve been helping him renovate, and I fear that it’s time that we get it fixed since the cold months are only sticking around for a little longer in his area. I’ll have a furnace repair service stop by and help us and maybe even get a replacement if the unit is too old.

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