Unlike the air conditioning unit, the furnace is usually tucked in the attic somewhere, away from everyday visibility. Because you never see it, you hardly give any thought to how it operates and whether or not it should be maintained. Unfortunately, that neglect can turn into a full-on furnace failure, causing you to call a heating contractor out to investigate the issue.
If your furnace has all of a sudden stopped working and you're confused as to what happened, here are some possibilities. Understanding how they fail can help you prepare in order to prevent it from happening again.
Your Thermostat Is Off
You may think this is a silly reason to put on this list, but considering that many furnace service calls can be fixed for free by the homeowner, this is one of the first places you should check. You may have forgotten to switch it over to heat at the beginning of the winter, or it could be that it's never been turned on properly. Consult the manual, and if necessary, contact a heating contractor.
Dirty Air Filter
Your air filter is responsible for keeping all the pollutants out of your home's HVAC system and it needs to be changed regularly to avoid the system overworking to compensate for filthy air. Change it every couple of months to ensure that it's in proper working order. Alternatively, check the air vents around your home to make sure none of them are blocked and inhibiting the airflow in the same way.
Broken Blower Motor
If there isn't any hot air coming in through the vents, the culprit could be a broken blower motor. Even if the furnace is operating perfectly, the blower is responsible for circulating the hot air through the house, so if it's not working, you'll have to replace it. Fortunately, this is an easy fix for a heating contractor and should be relatively inexpensive.
Clogged Drain Lines
High-energy furnaces are great at saving you money; unfortunately, they also drain a ton of water out of their units every single year. If there happens to be mold or sediment build-up inside the system, it can cause a clog that will stop the water from draining and stop your system from operating. If you can catch it quick enough, you should be able to clear it and get the furnace working again, but the clog could also cause the system to overheat and shut down entirely, necessitating a replacement.
Reach out to a heating contractor for more information.