Every homeowner knows how frustrating it can be when your furnace breaks down and you're freezing. You'll want to get that fixed ASAP, but the question is, what are some reasons why a furnace may stop working? Today, most furnaces have been designed for reliability over many years of use with little or no maintenance required, which makes them a high use item in our homes  – especially in wintertime.

Before you ever try to fix a furnace that won't start, make sure you know what kind of furnace it is. The most common in this area are forced air and gas furnaces (propane, fuel oil, natural gas). There are also electric furnaces, but those aren't as popular here, since the electricity can be expensive or unreliable in some places. When your HVAC unit has stopped working for an unknown reason, like our topic sentence says - before calling any qualified professionals, there are things you should check yourself, especially if your only concern with trying to diagnose the problem is whether or not it will cost more than $500 upfront for them just to come and take a look.

Here are the top 5 ways to check if the gas heater is working fine;

1) Make sure the furnace filter has no dirt or debris in it

If you notice that the airflow out of your registers seems low, check the air filter! A clogged filter can block airflow. Make sure all your filters are clean and not obstructed with dust or objects. (Electronic ignitions will likely have a pilot light). If it clicks on but does not fire up, you probably need to replace an old dirty sensor/ignitor; this is a  standard issue in furnaces! The furnace is prompted by the thermostat when heat should come on-and they get red hot before initiating gas ignition and blowing warm air.

To see if the problem is in your furnace or something else, refer to error codes found in your user manual. If you are experiencing a more severe issue than just not heating up properly, it might be time for professional help; but before that step, try looking at these simple fixes first.

If you feel comfortable, check the error codes in your furnace user manual to make sure you don’t have a more severe problem.

2) Inspect the thermostat

If you don't already have your heating system set up, it can be a little bit of work to get everything working. The first step is setting the temperature control selector and turning on the furnace switch for heat or air conditioning (depending on what's most appropriate). Make sure that after making any adjustments with these settings, you turn off all unnecessary lights inside your home. Doing so will help save energy and lower electric bills - which we're always looking out for.

3) Check if the furnace is on

You might find yourself with a power outage if the electricity goes off. One of many reasons for this could be that you’ve accidentally tripped the fuse/circuit breaker by touching it, or someone in your family may have accidentally caused the fuse to blow. You should check and make sure no breakers are flipped before flipping them back on to restore power.

4) Lastly, make sure the other fuel or propane gas supply to the furnace is open.

If you don't want to freeze during the winter, make sure your furnace is hooked up correctly. A disruption in gas supply from a leak could leave your heating system without fuel and cold air blowing through it all day long. If there's an indication of leaking propane inside or around the house, evacuate immediately by leaving home and calling for emergency repair service right away.

Lastly, did you know that it's not recommended to attempt fixing a broken furnace yourself?

It is best to call in professional help. We understand how inconvenient this can be, and are more than happy to lend our expertise as soon as possible. Call us at 1300 730 896 to book an appointment with our experienced technicians.