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The Unknown Reasons Your Heating Won't Turn On!

Are you having trouble with your heating system not turning on? Any number of issues may cause this, but there are three that stand out as the most likely reason why your heating system would not be turning on:

  • Lack of regular maintenance checks.
  • A malfunctioning thermostat.
  • The furnace’s pilot light has gone out.

How can you tell which of the above issues is the real cause of your heating system not turning on? Read on for more information about each one, and what you can do to fix the problem.

Has it Been Checked by a Professional in The Last 12 Months?

“heatingcheckup”If you have been skipping annual heating system inspections and maintenance visits, your system will undoubtedly suffer for it.

Not only will improper maintenance exclude your furnace from most manufacturers' warranties, but it will also lead to higher risk of a breakdown in your heating system.

Other issues might include higher energy bills and a shortened lifespan of your heater. By the time you reach the point where your heater won’t turn on, the only way to truly know where the problem is in your heater is to call an HVAC technician to inspect your system and determine the necessary repairs.

Are You Sure The Thermostat is Working Properly?

“checkthermostat”While it is likely that the neglect of your HVAC systems maintenance can cause your heater to experience more significant problems, it is also highly likely that the reason your heater won't turn on has nothing to do with the furnace itself, and everything to do with your thermostat.

While thermostats don't have an expected lifespan, they can break down over time, just like anything else. Usually, anytime after about 10 years, you can expect that your thermostat will begin to experience issues due to dust accumulation behind the thermostat cover and aging wire connections.

To test if your thermostat is the cause behind your heating troubles, try the following:

  • Replace the batteries.
  • Calibrate the thermostat.
  • Remove the thermostat cover and gently clean out any dust that has collected.
  • Check the connections of all the wires to make sure they are tight enough. Loose connections mean that your thermostat can’t communicate effectively with your heater, which is probably why it isn’t turning on.

Is The Pilot Light in Your Furnace Out?

“lighton”If you have a gas powered furnace, the first thing you should check when it won't turn on is the pilot light.

The pilot light is a small blue flame that ignites the burners when the furnace turns on, and it should always be on.

If the pilot light is out, the burners won't ignite, and the house won't get warm. Because keeping the pilot light on all the time requires a constant flow of gas escaping into the furnace, there are safety measures in place to prevent an explosion or toxic fumes.

One of these safeties is the thermocouple, which cuts the supply of gas to the pilot if the flame begins to burn ineffectively. This event will cause the flame to go out completely, and the burners to be unable to turn on. Another reason the pilot light may go out is if the pilot is dirty, or if a strong draft blows through the chamber.