Go Back

Solving The Mystery of a Broken Heating System


Is your heating system ready for winter? Do you trust it to start up when you go turn it on? If your heating system doesn’t start, don’t panic. There are things you can do on your own to get it started again. You can troubleshoot it yourself and save a lot of money on that service call.

Make sure you close the gas valve and switch off the breaker to the system before you get started. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, call a professional who provides HVAC service.

Is The Pilot Light Out?

“lighton”If the pilot light is out, your system will not start. Light it and notice the flame color. If it is yellow, the pilot opening is blocked with dirt. Does your pilot light go out right after you light it?

This occurs when the flame sensor is dirty. Disassemble it and clean it out. Does the pilot flame reach the bottom of the thermocouple switch? If not, call a licensed HVAC service contractor for an inspection.

Do You Have Power?

Gas furnaces also require electricity to run. The components that start up your furnace need electricity to turn on the gas. So make sure you have power. Make sure that the furnace breaker is in the “On” position. Check the control board for any short circuits and the power cord for damage.

Is The Thermocouple Dirty?

The thermocouple in your heating system is a safety device. It will turn off the gas if the pilot light goes out. The flame in the pilot will not light if the thermocouple is dirty. Clean out the thermocouple. Be aware that thermocouples wear out over time and that it just might be time to get a new one.

Change The Thermostat Batteries

“checkthermostat”Have you changed the thermostat batteries recently? The thermostat can’t tell the system to turn on with dead batteries.

They should be replaced periodically.

The thermostat should be set to “Heat” and “On.” Set the temperature to higher than it is inside.

Do You Have Gas?

Turn off the power. Make sure that the gas valve is turned up all the way. If there is no gas coming out, the pilot won’t light up. Always use caution when working with gas appliances. If you smell gas, even a little, leave your house immediately and call an HVAC expert or the utility company.

What About The Condensate Pan?

The condensate pan in the heating system has a reservoir that holds water. Your heating system will not turn on if it is full. Empty it out and check the condensate pipe for any stoppages. Note that emptying out the reservoir will only fix the problem temporarily. A larger issue is causing this and it should be checked as soon as possible.

Consider Annual Maintenance

“heatingcheckup”Problems with your heating system can be avoided simply by having a trained professional perform maintenance on it once a year. If your system has not been checked in over a year, it will most likely be dirty inside.

A dirty flame sensor will prevent your heating system from lighting the burners. The filter in your system should also be cleaned or replaced at least every three months.

If your heating system still won’t start, call the experts at Calvary Plumbing and Heating in Fort Collins for HVAC service. A qualified heating repair technician will be happy to discuss your plumbing issues and to answer all of your questions. Emergency service is always available.