Likely Reasons Your Home’s Heating Isn’t Working

Brrrr, it’s cold in here!  Something’s not quite working right, and now you’ve got the chills. That won’t do; let’s troubleshoot. Here are some possible problems and solutions as to why your home’s heating isn’t working.

Possible Issues and Fixes

Whether you’ve got a hydronic, a warm-air, an electric, or a steam heating system, there’s only a handful of issues likely to be the cause of the malfunction. Luckily, most are relatively easy fixes in their early stages.


It seems silly, but have you tried turning it off and then turning it on again? Sometimes things stop working because they’re simply… well, off. Check the breaker, check the gas, and make sure the system itself is on.

Filters & Vents

A predominant amount of issues stem from clogged-up filters. Doing a good once-over of all the filters and vents to make sure they’re clear will likely solve the issue and encourage a much more noticeable and clean airflow. Filters should be replaced every few months.


The job of the thermostat is to communicate to the heater how much heat to deliver. An issue can arise in that exchange of information on the thermostat end, making the temperature all wonky. This will require professional repairs.

On the other hand, it could be a tuning issue, where perhaps the temperature has been reprogrammed too low (in temperature) either accidentally by you or by some brief malfunction. You’ll have to check the settings and ensure they’re where you want them. Give it a bit of time after resetting to reach the desired temperature.


If the blower is dirty, it can throw the whole system off. Without its airflow, the heat exchanger won’t start, so keep it nice and tidy.

The blow capacitor can die (it’s like the starter and the battery) or start to weaken. Its job is to start the blower once the thermostat sends the signal to turn the system on. If it can’t throttle powerfully enough to start its mechanisms, then the system itself won’t start up. It will just need to be replaced at that point.

Refrigerant Levels

Your heat pumps shouldn’t be losing refrigerant (thanks to the conservation of mass), so if the heat strips are coming on, check for leaks. Without the refrigerant levels up, the compressor will suffer too. You can fix the leaks and recharge the refrigerant to improve function.


Leaks in ducts and seals will cause precious hot air to escape. Make sure the duct sizes and installation are adequate before simply tightening and readjusting. If they’re poorly done, you’ll need more than a quick fix. Otherwise, the system will overheat.

Why Maintenance Is Important

General upkeep can help prevent a lot of malfunctions, saving parts from seizing, clogging, and overheating. Most systems run as a conglomerate of multiple working parts, so if one small part isn’t working, it can throw off the whole system and cause permanent damage.

Regular priming will help prevent some of the more threatening issues from escalating while addressing minor defects as they happen. Some deterioration is inevitable, however, and will require an HVAC specialist.

Getting qualified professionals like CA Quality to properly install secure ductwork and quality equipment, along with tending to serious standard repairs, will ensure you enjoy your heating system for its intended lifetime and potential.

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