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Heater Not Working? Here are 9 Reasons Why

Heater Not Working? Here are 9 Reasons Why

There’s nothing worse than a messed-up heater in the dead of winter. If this happens to you, don’t fret. We’ve compiled a list of nine potential things that could be the culprit of a malfunctioning heater. 

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In the worst-case scenario, you won’t be able to troubleshoot it yourself. But don’t worry—that’s what we’re here for. The experts at Hutchinson are available 24/7 to help you out with anything you need so you don’t get caught in the cold. Just contact us, and we’ll be there to restore your heating. 

9 Reasons Why Your Heater Not Working

Winter is here, and the temperatures are dipping. Good thing you have a heater, right? 

But what happens if your heater is not working? Before panicking, check the following. Sometimes, getting a heater to work again can be as simple as checking your thermostat. Read on to find out. 

1. A Clogged or Dirty Air Filter

Dirty Air Filter

A very common culprit of a malfunctioning heater is a clogged air filter. The longer an air filter is used, the dirtier it gets. Anything from pet dander to dust buildup makes it dirty. If you haven’t changed it in a while, it inhibits the lack of airflow. Sometimes, your heater will turn off automatically if it senses a clogged air filter because it could be hazardous. 

The fix:  Stop by your local home improvement store and pick up a new air filter. 

2. Lack of Maintenance

It happens—life gets busy, and the least of your worries is your HVAC system. A lack of maintenance is often the #1 cause of a heater that doesn’t work. Most of the time, the issue is simply a dirty furnace. This is why it’s important to schedule regular maintenance on your furnace and other appliances. 

The fix: Call your local heating technicians.

3. Thermostat Issues

Thermostat Has Incorrect Settings

Sometimes, the easiest solution is the obvious one. Thermostats help regulate the temperature in your home by giving your HVAC system signals of when to turn off and on. Check your thermostat to be sure it’s on and set to the correct temperature. If it is, then you may need help troubleshooting. 

The fix: Call a local HVAC technician to double-check your thermostat. It may need to be replaced. 

4. A Malfunctioning Fuse Box

Heater Not Working?  check Malfunctioning Fuse Box

A fuse box powers your heating system. It is made up of electrical components like wires and breakers. Sometimes, a breaker gets tripped and just needs to be reset. 

The fix: Reset the tripped breaker. If it continues to trip off, there could be a more serious problem. Call an HVAC technician to triple-check your system. 

5. A Lack of Gas 

If your furnace isn’t getting gas, it won’t turn on. Troubleshooting this one involves locating the gas valve and turning it back on. 

The fix: Follow the gas line from your furnace back to your meter. Turn the handle to make sure it’s parallel to the gas pipe to turn it back on. 

6. Blocked Ducts

Blocked Ducts

Similar to clogged air filters, sometimes, a dirty duct can cause serious malfunctions. A blocked air duct will restrict airflow and cause some rooms to be hot while others remain frigid.

The fix:  You can clean air ducts by removing dust and replacing vent covers; however, it is best to call a professional to clean your ducts to ensure it’s done safely and properly.

7. The Blower Capacitor is Dead

A blower capacitor helps power your fan’s motor. It is responsible for allowing the air to move through your system and into your home to heat it. If it’s dead, then your furnace won’t turn on because it cannot move the air throughout the ductwork.

The fix: Replace the capacitor. It’s best to call an electrician for this one.

8. A Cracked Heat Exchanger

Cracked heat exchangers don’t always cause furnace failure. But over time, they can. Usually, they’ll begin causing issues by loss of efficiency and progress until your furnace malfunctions. Regardless, a cracked heat exchanger needs to be replaced. There is carbon monoxide inside of exchangers, which could be fatal. 

The fix:  Call an HVAC technician to take a look at your heat exchanger. 

9. A Blocked Chimney Exhaust Flue

Debris like leaves—or blockages like birds—can block your chimney exhaust flue. Because it’s an open passage, anything can block it. If it is blocked, clearing it can help get your furnace working again.

The fix: Turn off your furnace and thermostat completely. Check the duct in the flue for any debris and clean it out. Reassemble and turn your furnace back on. 

Heating Repair and Maintenance Services in New Jersey


The last thing you want to happen in the winter is your furnace malfunctioning. If you can’t figure out the problem or need some assistance troubleshooting, bring in the pros. 

Hutchinson technicians are quick, professional, and supportive. They’ll help you get back to warmth in no time. The best part is they’re available 24/7.

Even if your furnace is working, it’s best to schedule a quick maintenance check to ensure it’ll last you through the end of winter.