Wondering what to do if your heat stops working? Start by taking a deep breath. We’re going to figure this one out together, ok?

You can fix the most common furnace problems with nothing more than a flashlight and a little know-how. When you’re ready to determine whether your current issues are a DIY project, or whether you need to call in the experts, read on.

What to Do If Your Heat Stops Working in the Middle of the Night

If you live in a cold climate, like Minnesota, a lack of heat may be a life-threatening situation. Before you check for possible solutions, ensure everyone in the house has extra blankets. Then grab a flashlight and bundle up in warm clothing.

It’s time to run through your unexpected furnace problems and solutions checklist.

1. Thermostat: Ensure it has the correct time and date if you own an electronic model. If it has a battery, check to make certain it doesn’t need a new one. Finally, take the front cover off and blow away any excess dust or debris which might clog the sensor.

2. Circuit Breaker: Locate your furnace’s circuit breaker in your breaker box. If it’s been tripped, switch it back to the “on” position. It should line up with all the other breakers in your box.

3. Pilot Light or Electronic Ignition: Nowadays, furnaces function with either an old-fashioned pilot light or a newer electronic control. A pilot light is a small flame located near the base of your furnace. An electronic control doesn’t require a flame, so they’re harder to determine.

Check your furnaces manual if you’re uncertain which type your furnace has.

Then turn your furnace’s power switch off and back on to reset the switch. Turn off your power and gas to inspect the heating element for damage. If you still don’t anything, troubleshoot the pilot light using your furnace’s user’s manual.

These are the easiest issues. If none of these steps fixed your furnace issues, you may need to wait until the next day to problem solve.

What to Do When Your Furnace Quits Unexpectedly During the Day

If you haven’t completed your heater maintenance checklist, start there. You may solve your current problem as well as future unexpected furnace issues by completing the checklist. If it doesn’t fix your furnace problems, then try the following steps.

4. Gas Line: Check each foot of the gas line running from your main inlet to your furnace. You’re looking for leaks. Also, be sure to double-check that your pilot light is on if you have an old-fashioned furnace.

5. Vents: Double-check the vents throughout your house to make certain they aren’t clogged with debris.

6. Safety Switch: Your furnace has a safety switch on its door. If your system thinks the door is open, it prevents your burner and fan from working. You must securely close the door for everything to work.

Did that solve the problem? If not, or if your heater blows continuously, your furnace rapidly cycles, or it’s unusually noisy, it’s time to call a repairman.

What’s Next?

Now you know what to do if your heat stops working. Start by checking the most common problems listed above. If you can’t find a solution, call a technician.

If you’re a local St. Paul or Minneapolis resident, please reach out to one of our HVAC experts today. So long and good luck!

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