What to check if my furnace stops working




Having been an afterhours service technician in Winnipeg for many years, there are a few questions that I typically ask homeowners before offering a service visit. It never seems fair to have a situation where a customer in charged for a simple solution that they can safely check for themselves.

  • Have you checked the Air Filter?

A dirty air filter will eventually cause the furnace to overheat and shut down. Too many blocked vents can also lead to overheating a gas or electric furnace.

  • Is your thermostat working?

Weak batteries in a digital thermostat will eventually fail to send a proper signal to the furnace. Start fresh with new batteries every year, even if there is still a display on the screen.

  • Is there power going to the furnace?


After checking the circuit breaker, look for a service switch that may have been switched off. All furnaces a supposed to have one. They look like a regular light switch and are normally located close to the furnace. This can easily be the problem if you recently had a visitor or service person in your home.

Bonus hint: Try turning the fan control switch or setting from “auto” to “on”. If the furnace blower fan blows cold air, there would have to be power to the furnace.

  • Are the venting pipes clear outside?


Winnipeg extreme winter conditions can create accumulation of ice or snow levels to the point where the furnaces plastic vent pipes become blocked or restricted. Be sure to look or feel inside the end of the pipes to ensure that they are clear.

  • What about the pilot lite?

All high efficient gas furnaces do not use a standing pilot system like the older standard and mid efficient furnaces. The burners will have a direct or indirect fire sequence that saves energy by not having a pilot lite between cycles.

Older furnaces, boilers and water heaters that do have a standing pilot will have lighting instructions on the equipment panels close by.


When your gas or electric furnace problems are out of your comfort zone, call us at 204-888-2020 with your questions and concerns. We will be happy to have one of our expert technicians get your home comfortable again. Also you can get more information thru our website at www.alwaysopen.ca

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