furnace not working

The first blast of chilly, cold autumn weather causes many of us to reach for the thermostat. As we wait expectantly for that first wave of warm air, we’re disappointed by a draft of cold air. However, there’s no need to panic if you find your furnace not working. Aspire Heating & Cooling can send a technician to your home quickly to fix the problem.

Serving the greater Winston-Salem area, we’re dedicated to providing you with quality service. Veteran-owned and operated, we service and repair any make or model of HVAC system. Additionally, we can install a ductless system, indoor air quality components, a heat pump, air conditioner unit, and of course a new furnace. With our NATE-certified technicians, you’ll have a great experience from start to finish. That certification means that they have passed difficult tests on all types of heating and cooling units, administered by the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) organization. This is an independent, non-profit organization supported by HVAC companies to ensure that knowledgeable, well-trained technicians are available to work on your heating and cooling systems.

Neglecting Your Air Filter Can Lead to Expensive Repairs

Often, homeowners neglect a simple task that keeps their furnace running smoothly. You can sometimes avoid a furnace repair by performing some simple maintenance tasks. While changing the air filter may seem elementary, many of us forget to do it. This can cause serious harm to your furnace. Your air filter has an important job in cleaning the air flowing through your system. A dirty, clogged air filter can restrict air flow causing many different issues.

As air flows past the filter, dirt and dust become trapped. Over time, this trapped dirt will restrict the air flow. Then, as your blower motor struggles to push air through your system, it’ll draw more power. Thus, you’ll experience much higher energy bills.

Moreover, cool air is necessary to remove heat from inside the unit. Heat buildup can severely damage your system. Excessive heat stress may cause your heat exchanger to crack. Besides being expensive to fix, a cracked heat exchanger can also leak deadly CO into your home.

Generally, you should change your filter about every 3 months. The frequency of changing your filter depends on the type of filter and occupants of your home. Pets and more people in your home shed more dander and dead skin cells leading to dust accumulation. Also, different filters have varying lifespans. Filters can be fiberglass or polyester, thin or thick. Undoubtedly, if dust covers your filter, it’s time to change it.

A Few Other Simple Things to Check

When you find your furnace not working, it could be just a simple fix. A bad thermostat, tripped circuit breaker, or blown fuse are some common problems. Before you call a technician, you can try these solutions to see if your heating system responds.

We’ve already talked about changing your dirty air filter. This is one of the most common causes of HVAC failure. As your system draws more power to compensate for the clogged filter, you can blow a fuse or trip a breaker.

After changing your filter and checking your breakers and fuses, it’s time to check your thermostat. An accumulation of dust can affect its functioning. Remove the cover and gently clean the inside with a soft brush. If you have an electronic thermostat, check to see if you need to replace the batteries.

Next, turn your thermostat up or down 5 degrees. You should hear a clicking sound and then your heating system should turn on. If neither of these things happens, it may be time to replace your thermostat. Generally, they last only about 10 years. A newer programmable thermostat will help save on your energy costs by turning the furnace off and on at scheduled times. When no one is home, you can keep the temperature lower in the winter and warmer in the summer, so that you save on heat and air conditioning costs.

Your Pilot Light May Have Gone Out

One common problem occurring with old gas furnaces is the pilot light extinguishing. The pilot light is a small flame used to light the burners in a furnace. An accumulation of dirt on the intake valve can restrict the oxygen flow extinguishing the light. Additionally, a draft can also blow the pilot light out.

All furnaces have instructions on how to light the furnace somewhere on the unit. Basically, you want to turn off the gas and give it time to dissipate. You should be able to find a switch marked “pilot”, “on”, and “off”. Once you move the switch to “off”, wait 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, return the switch to “pilot”. Press and hold down the reset button bringing the flame of a lighter close to the pilot light.

If your pilot light doesn’t illuminate, it’s time to call a technician. Different problems such as a cracked heat exchanger, gas valve, thermocouple malfunction as well as age can cause issues. These are technical issues that need an expert to diagnose and repair the problem.

My Furnace Has an Electronic Ignition System

If you have a furnace less than 10 years old, you won’t find the traditional tiny blue flame. Newer furnaces use modern technology to light the burners. Electronic ignition systems have replaced constantly burning pilot lights with more fuel-efficient methods.

The two types of igniters are intermittent and hot surface igniter. An intermittent pilot system produces a spark to light the pilot only when you need heat. Once the furnace reaches the desired temperature, both the pilot light and burners turn off. Whereas a hot surface igniter uses electricity to heat a resistance element. After heating the element, the valves open allowing gas to flow over the element igniting the burners.

While these new electronic ignition systems are more energy-efficient, they generally only last about 7 years. So, if your heating system isn’t working, it may be time to replace your igniter. Call us at 336-936-9111 to have one of our technicians diagnose and fix your problem.

Don’t Neglect Taking Care of Your Furnace

Many homeowners tend to forget about their heating systems until they have a furnace problem. This is unfortunate because performing routine maintenance on your furnace has many benefits. Regularly-scheduled maintenance maintains the efficiency of your unit and extends its life. Moreover, a technician can spot small problems before they turn into expensive repairs.

Performing regular maintenance can also save your life. A cracked heat exchanger or leak in your flue pipes can result in carbon monoxide (CO) entering your home. According to the CDC, CO exposure leads to an estimated 15,000 emergency room visits and 500 unintentional deaths.

While CO is a natural byproduct of burning gas, it should never enter your home. In a clean and properly functioning gas furnace, your system vents CO safely outside. Failure to maintain your furnace can result in the overheating of components. In time, cracks can appear allowing the escape of CO.

Signing up for our membership plan will prevent any problems with your HVAC system. Our HVAC technicians will schedule 2 visits a year and inspect and remove dirt and dust that can inhibit proper functioning. The $199 annual cost for the membership plan is lower than paying for 2 individual visits and there are additional benefits. When you sign up for our membership plan, you’ll enjoy a savings of 15% off any necessary repairs. You’ll also benefit from priority service scheduling. Moreover, we can service and repair any type of heating system.

It May Be Time to Replace Your Gas Furnace

If your furnace still has a pilot light, it’s probably time to replace it. Modern furnace models are more energy-efficient saving you money and keeping you toasty. Not only has technology changed, but furnaces also lose efficiency as they age especially if you’ve failed to maintain it. Generally, the lifespan of a furnace is only between 16-20 years.

One of the reasons an older furnace is inefficient is the pilot light. In these furnaces, the flame continually burns gas in order to light the main burners. Although pilot lights use only a small percentage of your total usage, it can add up over time. Today’s furnaces use electronic ignitions that use gas only when it’s time to heat your home.

Your furnace also loses efficiency over the years. If you fail to maintain it properly, it will lose efficiency even faster. Dirt and dust accumulate on components of your heating system causing it to work harder. This can also lead to component wear as dirt is abrasive and corrosive.

We understand that buying a new furnace is expensive. That’s why we offer financing options with monthly payments you can afford. Furthermore, we’re a Trane authorized dealer offering some of the strongest warranties in the business. With a Trane unit, you’ll have a product that’s energy-efficient, long-lasting, and reliable.

How Much Money Will I Save With A Newer Furnace?

Certainly, before investing in a new heating system, you’ll want to know how much money you’ll save. Furnaces have different efficiency ratings and your choice of unit will determine your savings. Generally, the EPA’s Energy Star program recommends replacing furnaces 15 years or older for improved efficiency. New furnaces can have efficiency ratings of up to 97%.

What Exactly Is AFUE And What Does It Tell Me?

The U.S. Department of Energy sets efficiency minimum standards for heating systems. Manufacturers rate systems according to its Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). This rating measures how much heat the furnace produces against the volume of fuel consumed. Currently, newly manufactured furnaces must meet an AFUE standard of 78%.

A furnace with an 80% rating will turn 80% of the fuel into heat and the rest goes into the actual heating process.

Admittedly, AFUE comparison is only a good tool between furnaces using the same type of fuel. The rating only describes how much of your fuel’s heat enters your home. It doesn’t tell how much it cost to actually operate the furnace. Thus, when comparing different fuel systems, you need to compare the price of the fuel as well.

Furnaces with a higher AFUE gives you greater fuel efficiency and less waste. However, furnaces with higher AFUEs tend to be more expensive so you have to weigh the cost with the savings. Qualified heating technicians like Aspire Heating & Cooling can help you determine the best furnace for your needs.

What to Do When You Find Your Furnace Not Working

Colder temperatures are not far away. Now is the time to service your furnace. Putting it off only increases the risk of system failure when you need it most. If you do find yourself with a furnace not working, call Aspire Heating & Cooling.

When you work with us, you can expect:

  • Comprehensive assessments and solutions
  • Local experts with your best interests in mind
  • Fixed right the first time – no detail overlooked
  • Fast turnarounds for your convenience
  • Honest, upfront pricing with no surprises
  • Reliable solutions
  • Certified technicians who will diagnose and repair your problem quickly

Listen to our satisfied customers! We are proud to provide the highest quality customer service, because as a local business, we want to take care of our neighbors! Here is an example of one of our recent reviews:

Ben Kramer

We have been using Aspire for 4 years now at two different homes. Great quality service and a professional staff. They have repaired our systems and even replaced one. Would highly recommend them, if you are in need of an HVAC company.

10 August, 2020

Our NATE-certified technicians use state-of-the-art technology to diagnose your system. Plus, with every job, you have our 100% guarantee. So, call us at 336-936-91111 today to get your heating system ready for colder temperatures.

Posted Under: Furnaces, Heating & Air, HVAC