This week, I visited a customer and found it had all gone a bit "Elsa" inside the house (Disney reference to Frozen, if you're wondering) with the thermostat reading a cool 45°F (that's 7°C in real money). Gulp.
Two hours and $500 later, the faulty igniter had been replaced and the warmth began to return to my feet. Furnaces are essential appliances that keep your home warm and cozy during the cold winter months. However, like any other mechanical system, furnaces can experience issues that prevent them from working correctly. In this article, I'll cover some of the most common reasons why furnaces might stop working, including issues with traditional and pilotless furnaces.
Lack of maintenance
Regardless of whether you have a traditional or pilotless furnace, regular maintenance is crucial to keep it running smoothly. A dirty air filter is a common maintenance issue that can cause your furnace to overheat and shut down. For traditional furnaces, the pilot light can become dirty or faulty, while for pilotless furnaces, the ignitor can become corroded or damaged over time.
Electrical issues are another common reason why furnaces might stop working. This could be due to problems with the thermostat, circuit breaker, or electrical connections. If the thermostat is malfunctioning, it may not be sending the proper signals to the furnace, causing it to shut down. For pilotless furnaces, issues with the control board can prevent the furnace from starting up.
If your furnace is not igniting, it could be due to several issues. For traditional furnaces, a faulty pilot light or ignition system can prevent the furnace from starting up. For pilotless furnaces, a faulty ignitor can prevent the electronic ignition system from lighting the burner. In either case, a technician can diagnose and repair the issue.
Gas supply problems
If your furnace is not receiving a sufficient gas supply, it will not be able to heat your home. For traditional furnaces, this could be due to a gas valve that has been shut off or a gas leak. For pilotless furnaces, a faulty gas valve or control board issue can prevent the burner from receiving gas. Gas leaks are a serious issue that should be addressed immediately by a professional.
Mechanical issues with your furnace can also cause it to stop working. For traditional furnaces, a malfunctioning blower fan can prevent the furnace from circulating warm air throughout your home. For pilotless furnaces, issues with the gas valve or control board can prevent the furnace from functioning correctly. Additionally, traditional furnaces can experience issues with the heat exchanger, which can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide leaks.
In conclusion, furnaces can stop working due to several reasons, including lack of maintenance, electrical problems, ignition problems, gas supply problems, and mechanical issues. Whether you have a traditional or pilotless furnace, it's important to have it inspected and repaired by a qualified professional to ensure your safety and comfort. Regular maintenance, such as replacing air filters and scheduling annual inspections, can also help prevent issues and prolong the life of your furnace.