The lights are back on and everything else in my home seems to be working fine. I checked the thermostat to make sure it was set to HEAT and raised the temperature, but it still isn’t coming on. What else should I check before calling an HVAC company?

After power outages we often get many service calls with this problem. The furnace or heat pump was working fine before the storm, but when power is restored the heat still isn’t coming on. Here are a couple things to check before giving your local heating and air conditioning contractor a call.

First off, check the breaker panel and make sure that the breaker for the furnace isn’t tripped. If your breaker panel isn’t labeled, most furnaces have a 15A circuit so you can check if any 15A breakers are tripped. If you have a heat pump system, you want to check that breaker for both the indoor and outdoor units are not tripped. Sometimes after power outages breakers can trip unexpectedly so it is something that you may want to check before calling a professional.

Secondly, some furnaces installed within the past decade or so may a GFI outlet tied into the circuit. This is even more common with furnaces installed in basements where there may be water. Power outages can cause these outlets to trip. Check to make sure that any GFI outlets attached to or near the furnace have not tripped. To fix this problem just press the reset button on the GFI outlet.

Lastly, if the power was out for more than 5 minutes you may want to check that the thermostat did not reset. Many newer thermostats are wired directly into the furnace and that means when the power goes out so does the thermostat. When the power goes out for an extended period of time, the thermostat may reset to the factory defaults and not operate your system properly. If you still have the thermostat manuals you may set it back to its proper settings; however, it is recommended that a HVAC contractor do this because it can be complex.

We hope that these suggestions help to get your heat back up and running, if not call your local HVAC company to take a closer look.