Why is Your Furnace Not Responding to Your Thermostat?

Imagine coming home one day, and since the outdoor temperatures are getting colder, you decide to turn on your furnace. You turn it on and wait, but nothing changes. The room still feels as cold as ever! For many homeowners, this scenario isn’t uncommon, and it can be quite unpleasant, especially when the winter hits. 

This may occur because your furnace is not responding to your thermostat. How do you solve this issue and get your furnace up and running again?

Your furnace, like other machines and technologies in your house, needs to be monitored, repaired, and regularly maintained to keep it operational and long-lasting. Neglecting your furnace can cause its components to break down or stop working before the end of your furnace’s lifespan. 

If you’re in a similar scenario to the one we described above, don’t fret. We’ve created this post to help you. So, why is your furnace not responding to your thermostat? Read below to find out. 

Furnace not responding to your thermostat? Here are some common reasons 

The thermostat is a critical component of any HVAC system. If the thermostat isn’t working as it should, your furnace won’t work properly either.

If your furnace is not responding to your thermostat, it’s likely an indication of either a thermostat issue or a power supply issue. Let’s explore each case.

Thermostat issues and furnace thermostat troubleshooting

1. Thermostat functionality and settings

The first thing you should investigate is the functionality of the thermostat. Troubleshooting your furnace thermostat will help you to eliminate potential problems and find the issue.

Make sure your thermostat is set to your desired temperature settings. Depending on your model, the exact steps to adjusting the temperature may vary, so refer to your owner’s manual. 

2. Check for loose cables and connections

Is your furnace not keeping up with the thermostat? If your thermostat is set to the desired temperature and is still not working, or it takes a long time to kick in, it may be the result of loose cables.

Wires in a thermostat can loosen over time. You may also find them disconnected, which will prevent the thermostat from working at all.

If this is the case, contact a qualified technician to help you fix the problem. If you opt to handle the issue alone, take caution when investigating the cables to avoid electrocution and injury or damage to the thermostat.

3. Thermostat battery needs a replacement

If your thermostat’s display screen is blank, the batteries are likely drained due to prolonged usage. Batteries power the thermostat’s screen and help you navigate temperature settings.

Replace the batteries and place them in the correct terminals – batteries fitted backward won’t work! If the problem continues, contact a technician to guide you in checking the circuit breaker.

4. Incorrect thermostat placement

Your furnace may not kick in if your thermostat is located directly in the sunlight or near a heat source. If this is the case, the thermostat can’t communicate the correct temperature signals, so your furnace won’t turn on. 

Hire a qualified HVAC technician to guide you on the most suitable place for the thermostat based on the analysis of your house.

5. Incompatible thermostat device for your furnace

Increased innovations and furnace technology have led to thermostat compatibility issues in many homes. Updating one technology and not the other may result in your thermostat not communicating with the furnace. 

Therefore, when replacing your thermostat, ensure you have the right one. A technician can help you evaluate the compatibility of your thermostat with the furnace.

Furnace issues

If your furnace is not responding to thermostat settings, check out these furnace issues;

1. Faulty wiring

The previous section covered the wiring connections issue related to the thermostat. Similarly, the furnace can also be affected by poor connections and wiring, causing your furnace to not respond to your thermostat settings.

In addition to the thermostat not communicating with the furnace, faulty wiring in your furnace could also lead to other more serious issues. To ensure safety, contact a professional to fix it immediately.

2. Clogged filter

A clogged filter can cause several issues as the air filter is what allows unrestricted airflow throughout your house. This makes your HVAC system work efficiently. However, the furnace will not respond to the thermostat if the filter is clogged.

A clogged filter could also lead to high heating bills as the circulation fan in the furnace will use extra power to distribute air. To avoid this, regularly check and replace dirty air filters every six months.

3. Gas supply is off or depleted 

Is your gas furnace not responding to your thermostat settings? Check the gas supply. A gas furnace will not run without fuel. It’s possible to have the furnace and the thermostat functioning well, and have the gas supply switched off accidentally. 

Interrupted gas supply is a critical problem that could be the root of your HVAC system problems. A technician will help troubleshoot your furnace and the thermostat and provide a solution. 

4. Full condensate drain pan

A condensate pan is crucial in preventing water damage to your building. It collects any excess moisture (condensation) during heat transfer. You can find the condensate pan below the evaporator coils. 

If your furnace is not turning on, it might be an issue with a full condensate drain pan, which might be caused by a blocked drain line. Depending on its condition, it may need to be serviced or replaced. 

5. Leaky or blocked duct

If you notice whistling, roaring, or hissing sounds from the unit as the air escapes from the ducts, it could indicate a leaking duct.

Leaky ducts cause air with to escape through holes, and the HVAC unit will take longer to achieve the desired room temperature as a result.

Additionally, if the ducts are blocked, air will not circulate. Such an instance would give you a misconception thinking the furnace or the thermostat has an issue while ducts are the actual problem. The leaking or blocked ducts must be replaced to eliminate the problem.

6. Furnace in lockout mode

Many modern furnaces are capable of self-checks to determine if they are functioning to capacity. These checks prevent overheating gas leaks and outbreaks.

When the furnace detects a problem, it is programmed to shut off and restart. Restarts will vary depending on the model and type of the furnace. Most times, if the restart fails, the furnace will shut down for one to three hours and begin the process again. 

During this process, your furnace will not respond to the thermostat.

Furnace still not responding to your thermostat? Contact us.  

For additional assistance and troubleshooting, it’s a good idea to get in touch with a professional. Some HVAC issues are quick fixes, while others require the help of a trained technician. 

Contact the professionals at Anderson Air to book an appointment

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