For many Americans, the morning alarm is routinely followed by muttering four muffled words — "just five minutes more," as they press the snooze button. For homeowners, this time of day is typically the most peaceful, at least until they hear the dreaded sounds of — nothing at all. Suddenly, their heart races as they realize the air they are breathing is a little too cool for comfort and the reassuring sounds of a working furnace are nowhere to be heard.

Like all appliances, the home furnace can develop problems that prevent it from operating as it should. If you awake to the nightmare of finding that your home is feeling too cool and your furnace has stopped working, here are some possible ways in which you may be able to quickly restart your HVAC system. 

Check the thermostat settings

If the furnace fan is not working and the rapidly cooling air inside the home is signaling that it has not been working for a while, the first thing to check is the thermostat to ensure it is set correctly. It is always possible that a family member may have altered the settings during the night in an effort to make the home feel warmer or cooler. In addition to checking the temperature setting, be sure to check and make sure the function setting is on the heat, instead of cool or off.

Check the power source for both thermostat and furnace

If the thermostat is powered by batteries, instead of being hardwired into the home's electrical system, you should also try installing fresh batteries. If the batteries are not causing the problem, or the thermostat utilizes electrical power, the next step is to check the electrical panel and make sure that the furnace's circuit is still turned to the on position.

Many furnaces also have another power switch, usually located near where the furnace has been installed. This switch looks similar to a light switch and should be in the up position. Because of its similarity to a standard light switch, family members may mistakenly turn it off. 

If this alternate power switch is found to be in the off position, be aware that there can be a delay of a few minutes before the furnace will begin operating again, once you flip the switch back on.

Check the filter on newer furnaces

Some newer furnaces are designed to protect themselves from wear by shutting down if the filter becomes clogged. Homeowners who find their newer furnace has stopped working without warning may be able to restart it after installing a fresh filter. 

While trying a few quick tips to attempt to restart your furnace is a good idea, it is important to call for the services of a reputable heating repair contractor as soon as possible if your DIY efforts are unsuccessful.

For more information, contact a local furnace repair service.