What You Should Do if Your Heater Won’t Turn On

By December 21, 2020 Blog
heater won't turn on

While Florida is the second-warmest state after Hawaii, you should still expect a few stretches each year when you’ll want to turn on the heat. 

It seems almost yearly that the Sunshine State gets a cold snap that puts ice on the orange groves and a smattering of snow in the most extreme cases!

But with year-round warm temperatures, your furnace, boiler, and heating system probably isn’t the first thing on your mind. But what do you do if you get a chill and your heater won’t turn on? 

Chances are, there is a simple fix. And if it isn’t, don’t panic. An Allied AC and Heating expert can help.

In the following article, we’ll discuss heating issues that can trip you up on those rare cold days. 

If the Heater Won’t Turn On, Is It Off? 

OK, this may sound basic, but it isn’t. The first thing you should do when you question why your heat isn’t kicking on is to see if the system is off. Electric and gas heaters have a power switch on the side of the units. They also have their own dedicated breaker on the electrical panel. If it’s been a while since the heat was on, you may find the breaker was tripped without your knowledge. You may have also shut the unit off and forgotten. 

In any event, always check to make sure the unit is on before ruling out other possibilities.

Check The Thermostat

Your thermostat has several different options for the selector switch. It could be “Off” or set to “Cool.” Ensure that your thermostat’s selector switch is in the “Auto” or “Heat” position if your heater isn’t turning on. If dealing with a digital thermostat, make sure that the zone isn’t on a timer. You may find that the heat kicks on and then shuts off later because the thermostat is set to change to a lower temperature setting at a specified time. If you are having trouble with your thermostat’s settings, look up detailed instructions online for your model.

Check Air Filters

Pollen, dust, debris, even insects can clog up your heating system’s air filters. Excessively filthy air filters can cause a major obstacle to getting heat throughout your residence’s heating and cooling zones. Pull the filters and either clean them outside or, even better, replace dirty filters altogether.

What About the Pilot Light?

If your gas furnace isn’t working, then it might be the pilot light. If you open the panel in the unit’s front, you should see if the pilot light (a continuously burning small flame) is on. If not, you may have debris built up, limiting the light’s ability to stay lit. Unless you are extremely handy, leave the job of fixing this issue to the experts. 

Inspect the Power Supply

If all the mechanics of your heater looks like it is in working order, then you may find it’s the power supply. A simple way to check this on a gas furnace is to make sure the control valve says, “On.”

Call an Expert

Yes, cold days in the St. Petersburg area are rare, but your heating unit needs to work when they occur. When a heater won’t turn on, that can be a frustrating experience for a homeowner.

One of the best ways to avoid this is to make sure you have regular maintenance scheduled with home heating and cooling experts like the ones at Allied AC and Heating.

Do you have a heating or cooling question? Contact us today to talk to one of our trained service technicians.