As autumn settles in, there’s no heat in your house, and it’s getting cold. The furnace worked fine in the spring. Why is it stubborn now when you need it? You don’t want to spend money on a service call if you don’t have to, so check these things first.

All heating appliances have an electrical disconnect switch on or near the unit. Make sure the switch is in the ON position. (In many homes, the switch is at the perfect height for a three-year-old to reach.) Next, check the furnace’s electrical circuit breaker in the main panel. Make sure it’s in the ON position.

Set the thermostat Heat-Off-Cool switch to Heat. Check the fan switch – it should be set to Auto. Move the thermostat setting to a few degrees above room temperature. Normally the thermostat will display the room temperature, not the setting. Be sure the setting is above the room temperature, and give the furnace a few minutes to start.

If the furnace does not start, adjust the setting below the room temperature, wait a few minutes, then move the setpoint back above room temperature. This may reset the furnace’s controls so that it operates properly.

Still, no heat? Sorry – at this point, you’ll have to call for service.