Gas furnaces can fail for several reasons, and if you cannot figure out why a furnace has suddenly stopped working, it is probably best for you to call out a HVAC contractor to fix the problem. However, sometimes the reason why a furnace is not working is obvious, and all that needs to be done is to switch the furnace back on. For example:

  • Power may have been lost when a circuit breaker tripped or fuses have blown, or
  • Power may have been switched off if the home was empty for some time, or the furnace not required in warmer weather.

The process for safely turning on gas furnace mechanisms depends on whether you have electronic ignition or pilot light ignition.

Electronic Ignition
Turning this back on is a quite simple three-step process:

  • Locate the circuit breaker on the home electrical panel. Find the switch labelled ‘gas furnace’ and turn it to the ON position.
  • Find the actual furnace switch inside the home, and turn it ON if it is not already.
  • Reset the thermostat. Set the ‘heat’ switch and set the base point temperature.

Pilot Light Ignition
The steps for safely turning on gas furnace equipment where the pilot light is out are:

  • Find the pilot light gas valve with the ON, OFF switches and Pilot settings.
  • Switch the valve to OFF for a few minutes (as a safety measure).
  • Switch the valve to Pilot setting. Put a lighted match to the pilot opening and at the same time push the Reset button. Keep this button down until the flame lights, then set the valve to ON.

If you are experiencing regular problems with the gas furnace switching itself off, you should seriously consider furnace and duct cleaning annual maintenance to pinpoint the failure cause.


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