York Furnace Not Turning On/Won’t Start? 6 Causes + Fixes


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York furnaces are known for their reliability, but they’re not immune to problems. One of the more common problems they face is a sudden inability to turn on; not only is this frustrating, but it’s potentially dangerous if your furnace refuses to start in the depths of winter.

If your York furnace isn’t turning on, it may be due to tripped circuit breakers, thermostat programming issues, overflowing condensate pan, clogged or old air filters, damaged blower motor, or malfunctioning pilot light. Some of these problems can be fixed DIY, but some need an HVAC professional.

In this article, I’ll explain the various reasons why your York furnace may not be turning on. I’ll also explain whether it’s possible to fix each problem yourself, and provide instructions on how to fix it if it’s safe to do so.

Note: Furnace repair can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, and improper repairs can cause additional damage to your furnace. If you’re not familiar with the intricacies of HVAC repair, I recommend hiring a qualified HVAC repair service to make the repairs for you.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

The very first place you should check if electricity isn’t being supplied to your furnace is the circuit breaker. A circuit breaker can be tripped and will turn off the power supply to prevent electrical surges. Luckily, you can quickly identify if the problem is the circuit breaker or other issues.

How To Fix the Circuit Breaker

  1. Check to see if other electronics in the area are getting an electrical current. If other machines are, then chances are there is faulty wiring, your electric company is experiencing power outages, or the furnace itself has worn out. If other objects are turned off, then head to your home’s circuit breaker. 
  2. Read the list located on the side of the breaker and find your HVAC system.
  3. Turn the switch to ensure that it’s flipped to the ‘on’ setting.
  4. Head over to your furnace system and see if it has a furnace circuit breaker or light switch. If it does, make sure that it’s turned on and producing power.
  5. Test if this has fixed the issue by listening to the furnace turning on. If it doesn’t turn on, then you’ll need to contact an HVAC professional.

Thermostat Programming Issues

Another prevalent issue is that the furnace isn’t turning on due to the thermostat either losing its programming or losing power. When the power shuts off, the settings on the thermostat will be automatically reset to their default settings. If you weren’t aware of this, it could seem like your HVAC system may have stopped working.

However, all you’ll need to do is check and adjust the settings back to your liking. You can quickly solve this without having to call a technician or HVAC professional.

How To Fix the Thermostat

  1. Head to your thermostat and check to see if the power is turned on.
  2. Check to see if the thermostat is powered on by locating the switch.
  3. Check the thermostat setting and make sure it’s in heating mode.
  4. If the temperature has been reset, set the temperature to 10°F (-12.22°C) more than the current environment. 
  5. If the temperature changes and the furnace ignites, then the thermostat was the issue.
  6. Go ahead from here and change the thermostat temperature to your desired temperature.

An Overflowing Condensate Pan

A condensate pan collects any water from the furnace that may drip down. When the condensate pump is broken, it may cause water to be left in the pan. This can stop your furnace from turning on. You can fix this issue without the help of an HVAC professional.

How To Fix the Condensate Pan

  1. Locate the condensate pan on your York furnace.
  2. Check to see that there is no water in the drain. If there is sitting water, I recommend using Leak Saver’s HVAC Guys: Flow Tabs with Gel Lock Technology (available on Amazon.com) to make unclogging the drains a simple and easy process.
  3. Once you place the tablet down, follow the instructions written on the product box.
  4. Drain the water once you’re done and see if the furnace is working. If it’s not, then you may need to check to see if the furnace’s pump is working.
  5. Locate the float switch and click it into the ‘off’ position. If the switch flips back on, then you’ll need to replace the furnace’s pump.
  6. Once you replace the pump, test to see if the switch will go into the ‘off’ position. If it doesn’t bounce back and the furnace powers on, you’ve fixed the problem.

Clogged or Old Air Filters

Air filters can become clogged if regular replacements aren’t made. When a filter collects enough debris and dust, it will stop functioning. Hence, you’ll need to replace the air filter depending on the size of the filter.

Here is a quick guide you can use so that you’ll know when to replace the air filter:

Filter Size Replacement 
1-2 inches (2.54 – 5.08 centimeters)1-3 months
3-4 inches (7.62 – 10.16 centimeters)6-9 months
5-6 inches (12.7 – 15.24 centimeters)9-12 months

How To Fix the Air Filter

  1. Check the make and model of the filter and find a corresponding replacement.
  2. From there, you’ll need to cut off all power to your furnace by either unscrewing the fuse or switching off the power supply.
  3. Open your furnace and locate where the filter is.
  4. Remove the dirty filter and replace it with a clean filter.
  5. Turn your furnace on and test to see if the furnace starts up.

A Damaged Blower Motor

A blower motor pushes air into your home using a Permanent Split Capacitor (PSC) or has a built-in Brushless Permanent Magnet (BPM) system. Any blower motor that isn’t functioning has damage to one of these significant components. Damage can happen due to overheating or malfunctions.

How To Fix the Blower Motor

  1. Cut the power by turning off your furnace using the circuit breaker in your home.
  2. Check the thermostat on the furnace and change the settings so that the furnace heat is off, yet the fan is still on.
  3. Once the fan starts up, turn on the furnace and test to see if the fan is moving correctly. If the fan isn’t spinning, then you likely have a damaged or unbalanced blower motor.

A Malfunctioning Pilot Light

Depending on whether you have a newer or older model, the pilot light may be responsible for your furnace turning off. When gas or propane flow is interrupted by debris or other blockages, the pilot light will shut off. Hence, you’ll need to check to see if the pilot light is functioning correctly.

How To Fix the Pilot Light

  1. To identify a problem with the pilot light, remove the cover panel from your furnace.
  2. If the pilot light is not bright blue or has a yellow tinge, then the pilot light is not ignited.
  3. When the pilot light is out, you can relight it by locating the gas valve.
  4. Turn the gas valve into the ‘off’ position and wait at least three minutes.
  5. Once three minutes have passed, switch the valve to the ‘pilot’ setting.
  6. Light a match and hold it over the pilot opening while pressing the reset button on the pilot control panel until it ignites.
  7. If the light doesn’t stay lit, then you’ll need to contact an HVAC professional to fix the problem.

I’ve done my best to mention and explain the most common causes of a York furnace not turning on and how to fix each of them – hopefully you were able to fix the problem without professional help. However, if you’ve checked for all of the problems mentioned above and your furnace still isn’t turning on, you’ll need to hire an HVAC repair service to troubleshoot and fix the furnace for you.

Alanna Greene

Alanna is an avid traveler who lives in Michigan. In addition to writing for Temperature Master, she also sells crafts on Etsy and takes long walks through the forests near her home.

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