Central heating units and air conditioning units work together as a conjoined system to keep your home comfortable throughout the year but they have many components that operate independently. Therefore, it’s common for homeowners to experience issues where the air conditioning will function properly while the central heating unit won’t work.
While regular, professional maintenance can help prevent the majority of central AC issues, there are several different reasons why this might happen, and troubleshooting the issue will depend on the specific circumstances. So, what do you do if your heat won’t turn on but the AC will?
Central AC Works But Not the Heat
If your heat won’t turn on but AC will, it could be due to one of numerous reasons. Most instances where the AC works but not the heat can be corrected by identifying and repairing one of the issues below.
One of the most common reasons why your heater won’t turn on but the AC works can be traced to a problem with the thermostat. The thermostat is responsible for regulating the temperature in your home. If it’s not working correctly, it can prevent the heating system from turning on.
In some cases, the issue could be as simple as the thermostat being set to “cool” instead of “heat.” If this is the case, all you need to do is switch the thermostat setting to “heat,” and your central heating unit should start working.
If the thermostat is set correctly but your central heating unit still won’t turn on, you may need to check the batteries in the thermostat. If the batteries are dead, the thermostat won’t work, and your heating system won’t turn on. Replacing the batteries is a simple fix that should get your central heating unit up and running again.
Clogged Air Filters
One reason your central heating unit may not be functioning correctly while the air conditioning is working is a dirty air filter. Air filters are a vital component that affects the performance of both your heating and cooling systems. If your air filters are clogged with dirt and debris, your heating system may not be able to function correctly.
To troubleshoot this issue, check the air filters in your central heating unit and replace them if they’re dirty. It’s generally recommended that you change your air filters every one to three months, but if you have pets or live in a dusty environment, you may need to change them more frequently.
Pilot Light Issues
If you have a gas-powered central heating unit, it may not be functioning correctly due to a problem with the pilot light. The pilot light is responsible for igniting the gas that heats your home, and if it’s not lit, your heating system won’t turn on. In some cases, the pilot light may be out due to a draft or other airflow issues.
To troubleshoot this issue, you’ll need to check the pilot light on your central heating unit. If the pilot light is out, you can relight it by following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re not comfortable relighting the pilot light yourself, it’s best to call a professional HVAC technician to do it for you.
Ignition System Issues
If your central heating unit has an electronic ignition system, it may not be working properly due to an issue with that component. The ignition system is responsible for igniting the gas that heats your home. If it is not functioning accurately, your heating system won’t turn on. In some cases, the issue may be with a faulty igniter or a malfunctioning control board.
You can address this issue by checking the ignition system on your central heating unit. If you notice any obvious issues, such as a cracked igniter, you may be able to replace the faulty part yourself. However, if you’re not comfortable working with electronic components, it’s best to call a professional HVAC technician to diagnose and repair the issue.
Another possible reason why your central heating unit may not be working might be due to issues with your ductwork. If there are leaks, blockages, or other problems with your ductwork, it can prevent warm air from reaching your living spaces. This can cause your central heating unit to work harder than necessary, resulting in increased energy bills and reduced efficiency.
You’ll need to perform an inspection of your ductwork for any visible signs of damage or blockages. You can also check for leaks by turning on your heating system and feeling for drafts around your ducts. If you notice any issues, it’s best to call a professional HVAC technician to repair or replace the damaged sections.
In short, if your heat won’t turn on but your AC will, there can be a number of reasons for your central heating’s failure while your air conditioning continues to work properly. These include issues with your thermostat, air filters, pilot light, ignition system, or ductwork.
Troubleshooting the issue will depend on the specific circumstances in your home, but in some cases, it’s possible to fix the problem yourself by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Preventing Central Heating Failures
Regular maintenance and inspection of your heating and cooling systems can help prevent these issues from occurring in the first place. It’s also essential to change your air filters regularly and keep your ductwork clean and free from obstructions.
By taking care of your heating and cooling systems, you can ensure that your home stays comfortable throughout the year and that your energy bills remain under control.
If you are unable to determine the cause of your problems after having checked the potential issues listed above, it’s always best to consult with a professional.
American Home Water and Air for your HVAC needs
If you’re having issues with your central heating not functioning, our well-trained and experienced HVAC technicians are always available to get your system up and running again with as little fuss as possible and provide you with continued maintenance or upgrades to prevent a need for unexpected repairs in the future.
Financing options are also available to even get you up and running with a new system that will keep your home comfortable for many years to come.