Skip navigation


Riley Heating & Air Blog

What to do if Your Furnace Won’t Start

When the days get shorter, it is a sign that winter and cold weather is upon us. It is important that your furnace work as it was designed in order to keep your home warm and comfortable. When the furnace fails to start, you may feel a sense of panic and wonder is my furnace broken. Before calling a repair specialist, there are some troubleshooting steps that you can take that may resolve the problem.

If Your Furnace Won’t Turn On…

  • Check your thermostat. Ensure that the thermostat is in the “Heat” position and that the temperature is set to a level higher than the current ambient temperature inside your home.
  • Check for power. Even if you have a gas furnace, it may require electricity. Modern units use an electronic ignition system that requires power to open supply valves and ignite the burner unit. Blower motors and exhaust fans also require electricity. Locate your electrical panel and verify that the circuit breaker controlling your furnace is in the on position. Reset the breaker if it has tripped.
  • Check the gas supply. Verify that the shutoff valves are in the open position. The top of the valve being parallel with the supply line indicates that it is open.
  • Check the pilot light. If you have an older system with a standing pilot light, ensure that it is lit. Follow the instructions in your owner’s manual for relighting the pilot if it is out.
  • Check the condensate pan. A safety switch will prevent the furnace from activating if the condensate pan is full. Empty the pan. Clear any blockages in the pan drain line.
  • Check the blower and exhaust fans. As a safety precaution, the furnace will not activate if these fans are not operational. The fans prevent a buildup of heat, exhaust gases and carbon monoxide. Listen for the control panel or thermostat to signal that the furnace should activate. Listen for the fans to come on. If they do not operate, the burner unit will not light.

Prompt Service Matters

If your furnace troubleshooting steps fail to resolve the problem, call Riley Heating & Air at 334-298-1278. We will gladly schedule a convenient time for one of our service technicians to come by and inspect your furnace.

We are committed to providing prompt service, including emergency calls, during the winter heating season.

We also offer a wide range of heating and cooling services such as preventative tune-ups, repairs and installation. You can call us with any concern that you may have. We look forward to helping you restore comfort to your home.

Comments are closed.