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What to check for if your Gas Heater System Is Not Working
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What to check for if your Gas Heater System Is Not Working

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It’s one thing to pull up the covers on a cold evening, but it’s a whole different story if your gas heater system is not working. If you’re having problems with your gas heater, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to look at some of the things you need to check if you’re feeling a little chilly whilst inside your home.

But first, a few things you will need when inspecting your furnace.

  • Flashlight
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers

Now, let’s get down to business.

1. Take a look at the thermostat

Say the filter is good but you’re still not getting enough heat inside the house, the next thing to check is the thermostat. Thermostats act as the control center of your entire gas heater system so it makes perfect sense to check the thermostat first before anything else, and surprisingly, many issues with gas heater systems can be resolved just by checking the thermostat.

First, set your thermostat to heat and set it 5 degrees above room temperature and make sure it’s on the “auto” or “heat” position. If the thermostat is not working properly, it could be a case of bad batteries. Dead batteries can cause the thermostat display to die which will also shut down the thermostat’s heating and cooling capabilities. Schedule a battery replacement every year so you don’t run into this problem.

2. Check the filter

The next thing to look into if your gas heater is not working properly is the filter. As one would expect, an air filter’s main function is to trap dust, dirt, and debris. Things like hair and soot will get caught in the filter and accumulate overtime. When this happens, it can block the airflow which can overheat the exchanger and cause your gas heater system to act up. In this case, your heater will ignite but will fail to blow heat as hard as normal. This can reduce the effectiveness of the heater and may even damage it over time. On that note, make sure to replace the filter at least every three months or as recommended by the equipment manufacturer manual. Filters are typically easy to replace so you can do it yourself if you’re feeling a little handy.

3. Check if it’s on

Another thing often overlooked is to check if your gas heater system is on, or in some cases, properly turned on. If you recently had repairs or maintenance done on your gas heater, you might want to check if it was properly turned back on. All gas heater systems have a standard power switch so that’s what you want to look for. Typically, near the furnace or in places where it’s easy to spot, make sure to check if the switch is in the “on” position.

You might also want to check for a pilot light, especially if you are running an older gas heater system that does not have an electric ignition. If your pilot light is off, just make sure to turn it back on. When turning the pilot light on, do turn off the gas shut-off valve and wait for a few minutes for the gas to clear out. Search for the pilot light under the gas valve and turn it to pilot. Push the knob down to start the flow of gas and hold it down. Use an extended lighter while still holding the knob and turn the furnace gas valve back to “on.”

This could be a little technical so you might want to seek the help of a professional gas heater plumber.


4. Check the gas valve

If any of the above steps do not work and your gas heater system is still not functioning, checking the source from where the heater gets its fuel is the next step. Make sure that the gas valve is open as any disruption in the gas supply can affect how the heater performs. Another thing to check while you’re here are gas leaks. If you sense a strong smell of gas, leave your house immediately while leaving the doors and the windows open. Immediately contact a gas heater plumber for help.


Gas heater systems are a good way of keeping your home warm. However, things like dirt, lack of maintenance, dead batteries, and wear and tear can cause the gas heater to malfunction. And although you can spot and even address these problems on your own, remember to seek the assistance of a trained and licensed plumber when dealing with gas-related heater problems.

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