With winter just around the corner, furnace issues could be a potential disaster. Here at Howard Air, in Phoenix, we understand that temperatures in the Valley don’t typically dip below freezing. But, when they do, you don’t want to be caught unaware. Maintaining a working heater is more crucial than just personal comfort as water pipes can freeze and burst, which is always concern.

When the furnace is turned on but not heating and only blowing cold air, there are a few things a homeowner can check before calling our friendly service experts.

Preliminary Checks for Furnace Air Not Blowing

Howard Air - Home Heating System Diagram

These simple, obvious solutions are sometimes easily forgotten and worth double-checking before calling a professional:

  1. Remember, it takes a few minutes for the air to warm up. After heating for 10 minutes or longer, do you notice a temperature change?
  2. Double-check the thermostat. Is there someone else in the building that might be lowering the temperature?
  3. Check the thermostat’s batteries as some models run entirely on batteries, whereas some are connected to central power, and some have both.
  4. If you have a gas heater, check the pilot light. If the pilot light is out, that’s very likely the culprit behind the furnace not heating.
  5. For oil furnaces, check the oil supply and filter. They may need a change.

If the thermostat is fine and the pilot light burning, but the air never warms up, it’s time to check for damage.

Searching for Damage

When it comes to potential damage, there are areas you can check yourself and that you may even be able to repair on your own. However, if you don’t feel confident in your ability to find damage, find the right part to replace a damaged one, or to apply the remedy, we’re ready to help you with this critical piece of home maintenance.

The areas you should check are:

  • The hot surface igniter. Make sure your furnace is off, and then remove the main panel (and any necessary additional panels, depending on your model). Look for a small piece of metal protruding from a plastic case – you may need a flashlight to examine it properly depending on your home’s lighting. Any cracks in the metal means the igniter needs to be replaced.
  • Check the fuse on the control board. A blown fuse will need to be replaced. If fuses frequently blow, give us a call as there’s likely a more complex problem.
  • Head up to the attic and check the air ducts for leaks. Remember that attics often do not have a walkable floor like lower levels and exercise extreme caution.
  • Examine the heat sensor for grime.


None of these problems are especially serious and should be fairly simple and relatively inexpensive to repair.

Still Need Help? Contact Howard Air!

If none of these issues seem to be the cause, there’s likely a problem that requires an expert. In these cases, or even if you’re not sure what the problem might be, just give us a call or send a message.

Furnaces are too important to neglect. It is wise to inspect your furnace annually, so that you can avoid problems during the coldest part of the year. At Howard Air, we are happy to help with maintaining your furnace. Please contact us today.