It’s a terrible feeling — getting home from a long day of work during the Chicago winter and finding your house as chilly as the outdoors. After you’ve taken a second to curse your furnace and have accepted that your heating is out, it’s time to troubleshoot. Taking a moment to follow a few basic checks may save you significant money in furnace repairs. Follow these three tips to see if your furnace problem is a simple fix. If you follow them and find your furnace is still refusing to work, contact our team at Absolute Comfort of Lake in the Hills, Algonquin, and Huntley for our 24-hour emergency service.

Check Your Thermostat

Start by going to your thermostat. Make sure your system is actually on and set to heat. This may seem obvious, but even the best of us make mistakes. You’d be surprised how easy it is to accidentally mess up the settings on your thermostat when you’re in a rush!

If the thermostat settings look fine, turn your heat up a few degrees and listen to see if your system turns on. If not, it could be a breaker issue. If it does turn on, there’s a chance the temperature gauge is not reading correctly. If that’s the case, an HVAC technician will need to get involved.

Look at the Power Supply

Is your furnace getting power? You’ll likely notice if the electricity is out in the rest of the house, but there is a chance something has tripped a breaker. Check your circuit breaker box to see if this is the case.

Then, if everything looks normal there, check the furnace itself to see if there are any obvious problems with the cords. Some modern furnaces will also have error lights. If these are illuminated or if you have damaged cords, chances are you’ll need to contact a professional.

Remember, even natural gas furnaces require electricity, so checking the power should be your first step anytime your heating goes down.

Inspect the Furnace

If you’ve got a gas furnace, check that the pilot light is lit. An extinguished pilot light can be the result of too much or too little airflow.

Then, make sure the furnace exhaust is clear of debris. If you’ve got a furnace that vents outside of your house, you may have to go outdoors to inspect it.


Once you try all the above steps and either don’t find anything or find an issue that requires expert attention, it’s time to call a technician. If you experience furnace problems in the Lake in the Hills, Algonquin, or Huntley areas, don’t hesitate. Contact Absolute Comfort now for our 24-hour emergency service!