What to Do During a Home Heating Breakdown | Thiele

What to Do During a Home Heating Breakdown

What to Do During a Home Heating Breakdown

No Indianapolis homeowner wants to be surprised by cold air in their homes when their furnace is supposed to be keeping their house toasty warm, but it happens all the time. When your heat is out, and it’s freezing outside, what do you do when you have a home heating issue on your hands? Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning shares what to do in such a situation to get your heater back up and running as soon as possible.

Troubleshooting a Home Heating Breakdown

So, your house is cold and your heating system doesn’t seem to be working right – calling an HVAC company should be your first step, right? Of course, you can call your trusted heating and air conditioning company, but there may be a quicker way to get your heat back on. 

While professionals can identify and fix complex system problems that rob your home of heating, not all heating outages have complicated causes. Sometimes, simple errors and problems are to blame for incapacitating your furnace or heat pump. These minor issues are ones most homeowners can easily troubleshoot to get their heat back on in just a few minutes. 

Anytime you find yourself facing a home heating breakdown, we recommend you take a few minutes to troubleshoot simple yet common causes of heating system malfunctions. If the fix is simple, your heat will be back on in no time! Plus, you won’t be paying for a professional service call just to find out the problem was something you could have corrected yourself.

In the event of a home heating breakdown, troubleshoot these heating system areas:


  • If the display is blank or doesn’t turn on, make sure the thermostat has power. Replace batteries or inspect the circuit breaker, resetting the breaker if it has tripped. Make sure you’re not experiencing a power outage as well. Not having electricity can stop thermostats and heating systems from working. 
  • Make sure the thermostat mode is properly set – the thermostat should be set to HEAT mode, not COOL.
  • Make sure the current settings are correct. Clear any HOLD or VACATION overrides that could be halting your usual temperature schedules. 

Equipment Power and Fuel

  • Check circuit breakers for all home heating system, including the outdoor unit if your home uses a heat pump. If any breakers have tripped, reset them.
  • Find the ON/OFF switch to the indoor and outdoor unit. The switch should be on the exterior of the cabinet or installed on a nearby wall. Make sure the switch is set to ON.
  • Check the access panels on your furnace or air handler. Some models prevent operation if a panel is ajar or loose. Secure any problematic panels and see if the unit will turn on. 
  • For fuel-burning units, make sure the fuel valve to the unit is open. Check the valve handle that is perpendicular to the pipe it sits on. If the valve is closed – open it so fuel will flow to the furnace. 
  • If your furnace uses liquid propane or heating oil, check fuel levels in the storage tank. Monitor the fuel volume. If it is too low or the tank is empty, your furnace will not have the fuel it needs to operate. Schedule a refill and schedule required inspections for empty propane tanks before filling.
  • If you have an older furnace with a pilot light ignition, check to see that the pilot is lit. If it is out, follow the owner’s manual directions to relight the pilot. Resolve any drafts that cause the pilot to continuously extinguish.

Call for Home Heating Service

If simple troubleshooting doesn’t restore your heat, it’s time to call Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning for a home heating repair appointment. Our technicians will come to your home as quickly as possible, inspect your system, and make the repairs needed to heat your home once more. If quick repairs are not possible, we will set your family up with temporary heating solutions to keep everyone safe and comfortable until repair service can be completed.

A home heating breakdown is worrisome, but try not to panic if it happens to you. Run through system troubleshooting steps and then call a professional for repairs. If you encounter a home heating breakdown in the Greater Indianapolis area, call Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning.