Is Your Furnace Not Starting? 6 Common Reasons Why

Homeowners don’t spend much time thinking about their furnaces, but that can change in a heartbeat if cold weather rolls around and your system doesn’t kick on when it’s supposed to! After all, you depend on your furnace to keep you and your loved ones warm and safe during the cold Portsmouth, VA, winters!

In most cases, you will want to call for HVAC services when you’re having problems with your heat. Whether the problem is complex or simple, calling a professional will give you the peace of mind that it will be taken care of properly.

Here are the six most common reasons why a furnace might not start.


Your thermostat tells your furnace to turn on when the room isn’t warm enough. If your thermostat is already set to the correct temperature and has been switched from AC to heat, your furnace should automatically activate.

If everything is correct and it still isn’t turning on, there could be a bigger problem. It may be your thermostat isn’t working or that it isn’t communicating with your furnace.

Air Filter

If your air filter is clogged, your furnace may not activate properly or it may struggle to stay on. Changing out your air filter regularly can prevent this problem and keep your air fresh. 

If the problem is deeper than that, a professional will have the proper tools and equipment to clear up anything blocking the way.

Pilot Light

Many furnaces create heat from propane or natural gas. Check to see if there’s flame lit for the pilot light. If it’s out, then the furnace can’t ignite the gas to create heat.

On older systems, a homeowner would be able to reignite the pilot light. Modern systems are more likely to have an electronic switch, which might have to be repaired in order to ignite the pilot light.

Power Source

Even if your furnace is gas-powered, it will still need a power source to move the warm air around the home or to ignite the fuel source. If your furnace isn’t getting power, it won’t kick on.

If power isn’t getting to your furnace, it could be one of many reasons. A furnace repair professional will be able to check your furnace to determine whether the power supply is the problem.

Limit Switch

One of the many safety measures in a furnace is a small part called the limit switch. The limit switch turns off your furnace when it gets too hot.

A clogged air filter is a common reason for overheating. If your limit switch is open, make sure to have your air filter checked, as well.

Draft Motor

The draft motor checks to ensure there is enough oxygen flow before igniting the furnace. This helps to prevent the dangerous build-up of carbon monoxide, a natural byproduct of burning gas.

It’s not uncommon for critters to get in the way of your vents. Alternatively, heavy snow or ice could block the vent and prevent the draft motor from allowing the furnace to kick on.

A problem with the draft motor itself means it is definitely time to call in a professional for furnace repair.

How to Avoid These Problems

Scheduling regular furnace tune-ups will help to keep your furnace running smoothly. If you live in the Portsmouth, VA, area, contact Energy Pro Heating & Cooling to inspect your furnace and make sure it is ready for winter.

A furnace tune-up is a great opportunity to ensure that all of the parts are functioning as they should be. A professional can fully examine your system from top to bottom to check for any problems. After all, fixing a small problem is always more cost-effective than letting it turn into a bigger problem later on!

During your tune-up, your technician can tell you about the best ways to protect your furnace and keep it working for years to come. During your appointment, they can calibrate the system, check your thermostat, and tighten any loose components.

HVAC Repair Near Portsmouth, VA

Need an inspection for your furnace from a top-quality HVAC repair service? At Energy Pro Heating & Cooling, our team proudly serves residents in the Portsmouth, VA; Suffolk, VA; and Hampton Roads areas. 

We understand that if your furnace isn’t functioning, it can interrupt your entire household, leaving you with a cold house and lots of frustration. To help, we offer 24-hour emergency services. Make sure you and your loved ones are never stuck in the cold. Give us a call today!

October 25th, 2021 | Heating and Cooling