What to do When Your Heating Won’t Work

January 23 2019

James Patten


So, you’ve let yourself into the office or warehouse and the first thing you notice is that there is a chill in the air. The building is cold – downright freezing, in fact – and your workers are due to arrive to start their working day in a matter of minutes. You know that cold temperatures can have a seriously negative impact on your employee’s ability to work and that forcing them to work in a cold environment can create resentment towards management.

Don’t panic.

Faulty heating is not always the result of serious malfunctions with your heating system. Sometimes a simple, easy-to-implement solution can have your heating up and running properly again within minutes. If your heating isn’t turning on, or isn’t running properly, it could be for one of the following reasons:

Malfunctioning Thermostat

When the heating isn’t working, the first thing to check is the thermostat. Check that the power is switched on and that the setting is switched on to heat. If your thermostat is battery operated, it could simply be a case of dead batteries that need to be swapped out with new ones. If the unit has fuses, make sure none are burnt out.

Increase the setting on your heater to approximately 10 degrees higher than the current room temperature to get a proper gage on whether your heating is working correctly. Test your thermostat’s accuracy with another temperature gauge, if they do not align, the thermostat may be out of calibration and need to be reset. Check the manual you received with your unit for instructions on how to do this.  

Clogged Ducts

An uneven airflow can by caused by a blockage in the heater’s ductwork. It’s easy for dust to be caught and build up in the ducts, especially in the winter months when buildings have poorer ventilation. You should clean the vents regularly to prevent dust from interfering with the heater. Blockages are not only an annoyance for causing the heater to not function properly, but they can also pose a fire hazard.

Dirty Filters

If the air filter gets too dirty and full of dust, it can restrict the airflow. Changing the filters regularly can improve the air quality and allow the heater to warm the space sufficiently. If your place of work is in a factory or warehouse where there is more likely to be dust or debris present, you may need to change the filters more regularly.

Faulty Igniter or Pilot Light

If your heater has an oil or gas furnace, the problem might be caused by a faulty pilot light or ignition switch. First check that your heater has an adequate supply of fuel, then switch it off for a few minutes before relighting it. Watch the pilot light whilst it turns back on to see if it becomes ignited. If not, the furnace may have a faulty igniter, which will need to be replaced by a professional.


It’s always a good idea to consult the manual that came with your unit when you experience issues with your heating. There will likely be some simple steps you can troubleshoot, such as resetting the unit, to fix the problem yourself. If you’ve checked the manual and tried the tips we’ve laid out here and are still having no luck, it’s probably time to call in a professional.

Man Performing Maintenance on a Heater

At Heritage Heating and Cooling, we offer nationwide service and repair for all leading manufacturers’ models of industrial/commercial heating systems as well as warm air heating installation. However, we don’t limit ourselves to only working on units we’ve installed ourselves, so regardless of the situation, our team will endeavour to fix the problem. Whether you’re in need of particular repairs, or you want to take out an industrial heating maintenance contract, contact us today.

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