Problems Nobody Tells You About Your Heater


If your home heating system is not turning on, it may be due to one of the following problems:

  • The system is experiencing issues due to a lack of maintenance.
  • Your thermostat needs to be replaced.
  • Your gas furnace’s pilot light has gone out.

Any of the above issues can be handled by a qualified heating technician, like the ones employed by Peterman Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, Inc. If you’re having trouble getting your heater to start up, read on to figure out what you can do to remedy the situation!

It May be Time For a Checkup

One way to ensure your heater will be ready to run during the heating season is to have it checked and tuned-up regularly. Most technicians recommend heating checkups at least once a year.

A heating system maintenance check usually consists of:


  • Inspecting the heat exchanger for cracks or other deterioration.
  • Removing and cleaning burners.
  • Checking and adjusting the fan switch.
  • Inspecting and cleaning the pilot.
  • Verifying that all safety controls are operating properly.
  • Examining the gas line from the furnace shut off valve to the burners for cracks.
  • Checking and cleaning the combustion air openings.
  • Inspecting the flue pipe.
  • Securing or tightening all the panels.
  • Lubricating all the motors and bearings.
  • Inspecting and adjusting the belts and pulleys.
  • Replacing the filter.
  • Taking a draw of the blower motor, compressor, and condenser fan motor and recording them.
  • Checking and calibrating the thermostat.

If you haven’t had your heater inspected and cleaned in the last 12 months, it could be the reason why it won’t turn on now.

Does Your Thermostat Need to be Replaced?

If your thermostat is not working correctly, it can prevent your heating system from turning on.

Sometimes, an accumulation of dust inside the thermostat or aging wire connections can cause the thermostat to malfunction.

It happens usually after about ten years and leaves the thermostat unable to communicate with your heating or cooling unit properly.

To perform a quick diagnostic check of your thermostat:

  1. Make sure it is on, and that the batteries are fresh.
  2. Remove the thermostat cover and clean the inside using a small dry cloth or duster.
  3. Carefully check that the wire connections are tight.

If your thermostat is still not working after trying those things and having a professional technician recalibrate it, you may need a new thermostat.

Make Sure Your Pilot Light is On

The pilot light in your furnace is what ignites the burners that heat the air before blowing it out into your home. It should burn continuously unless something is wrong.

Because the pilot light is kept on by a continuous flow of gas, your furnace is likely equipped with a safety feature called the thermocouple, which cuts the gas to the flame if it begins to burn inefficiently.

This is done to prevent toxic fumes from escaping into your home. The pilot light may also go out if a strong draft blows through the furnace, or if the pilot is excessively dirty. In either of these cases, you can carefully relight the pilot yourself.

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