Troubleshooting When Your Honeywell Thermostat Says Heat On But There’s No Heat

It can be frustrating when your Honeywell thermostat says heat is on but you aren’t getting any warm air. A faulty thermostat or other issue could be to blame. In this post, we’ll walk through some troubleshooting steps to get your heater back up and running.

Check the Batteries in the Thermostat

One quick fix is to check the batteries in your Honeywell thermostat. Low batteries can prevent the thermostat from sending the signal to turn on your heating system.

Simply remove the thermostat from the wall and locate the battery compartment. Replace the batteries with new ones. Refer to your model’s manual if you need guidance locating the batteries. Reinstall the thermostat and test it. Often, this alone will resolve the issue.

Inspect the Thermostat Wiring

Faulty wiring between the thermostat and your HVAC system can also prevent the heat from turning on. Remove the thermostat once again and visually inspect the wiring for any loose connections. Make sure the wires are securely attached to the proper terminals. Your thermostat wires will connect to terminals labeled W, Y, G, R, etc. Consult your thermostat manual to confirm your wiring is correct.

While you have the thermostat off the wall, you can do a quick conductivity test using a multimeter. Set it to the continuity setting and touch the probes to the wire terminals to make sure they are transmitting signals properly. Reinstall the thermostat if all seems well.

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Check the Status of Your Heating System

check the status of your heating system
Check the Status of Your Heating System

If new batteries and proper thermostat wiring don’t do the trick, the issue likely lies with your furnace or HVAC system. Go down to where your heating unit is located and investigate the following:

  • Power Switch – There may be a shutoff switch nearby that has been flipped off. Flip it back on to restore power.
  • Pilot Light – Furnaces with pilot lights can go out, preventing heating operation. Carefully follow proper lighting procedure for your pilot.
  • Breakers/Fuses – Check for any tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses in your electrical panel and reset or replace as needed.
  • Gas Supply – Make sure shutoff valves are open and supplying gas if you have a gas furnace.
  • Clogged Filter – A soily air filter can obstruct airflow and prevent your system from heating properly. Replace your filter if needed.
  • Blown Motor – Your blower motor may be defective. Have an HVAC technician test its operation.
  • Fault Codes – Many furnaces will flash an LED code when there is a specific error. Look this code up in your manual to identify the issue.

Routine maintenance like cleaning and replacing your air filter can help avoid many furnace problems. Refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended maintenance timeline.

Call in an HVAC Professional for Repairs

If you still have no heat when your thermostat says it should be on, then it’s likely an internal HVAC issue that requires professional service. At that point, call in a trusted local HVAC company or technician to diagnose and fix the problem.

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Some common repairs heating professionals may need to perform include:

  • Replacing broken or defective heating elements
  • Fixing blower and fan motors
  • Refrigerant recharge if low
  • Patching refrigerant leaks
  • Replacing broken control boards
  • Adjusting ignition assembly
  • Cleaning sensors

Be sure to get an estimate for any repairs before authorizing the work. And remember to keep the area around your HVAC equipment clean and accessible for maintenance.

Set Your Thermostat to Heat – Alternate “Emergency Heat” Mode

If troubleshooting still has not resolved a lack of heat, set your thermostat to emergency or auxiliary heating mode. Most digital thermostats have this setting. It tells your backup electric heating elements to turn on and keep you warm until your main gas or oil furnace is fixed.

Just know that emergency heat often relies on more expensive electric resistance coils. So your utility bills may be higher than normal when relying on it. Only use it as a temporary measure until your main heating gets repaired.

Use a Space Heater as a Short-Term Solution

Another way to stay warm when your thermostat isn’t triggering the heat is to use a portable space heater. This can provide targeted warmth to the room you spend the most time in.

Be sure to get a modern space heater with tip-over and overheat protection. Place it on a flat, hard, nonflammable surface away from anything combustible. Never leave a portable space heater unattended or running while you sleep. While convenient, these heaters are not intended as a permanent solution, so pursue the thermostat/furnace repairs ASAP.

Prevent Future Thermostat Issues

prevent future thermostat issues
Prevent Future Thermostat Issues

To avoid Honeywell thermostat headaches in the future, follow these tips:

  • Change batteries once a year or when low
  • Keep thermostat programming simple and intuitive
  • Have an HVAC professional do annual inspections
  • Check that vents aren’t obstructed by furniture or dust
  • Upgrade to a smart thermostat for convenience and control
  • Buy a thermostat guard to protect it from damage
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Honeywell offers some of the top smart thermostats on the market today with conveniences like remote adjustment via phone apps and voice control integration. Upgrading can help minimize future problems.

When to Call A Professional

While the troubleshooting tips above can resolve many common problems, don’t hesitate to call in a technician for assistance if:

  • You smell gas or burning coming from the furnace
  • The furnace is making strange noises or vibrating excessively
  • You see any smoke or flames
  • DIY efforts don’t uncover or resolve the issue

Licensed HVAC pros have specialized tools, training and expertise that make it safer and easier for them to diagnose complex furnace problems. Don’t take risks trying to repair gas appliances, high voltage wiring or large equipment yourself.

Stay Warm Until the Heat is Fixed

Having your thermostat call for heat but getting none is an inconvenience, especially in cold weather. Use the tips above to restore normal heating operation ASAP. In the meantime, stay warm wearing extra layers and using temporary heat sources if needed. Proper troubleshooting and repairs will have you feeling cozy and comfortable again soon!


When a Honeywell thermostat says heat is on but no warm air comes out, it’s likely due to battery, wiring or furnace issues. Check batteries, wiring connections, furnace power, gas supply and filters first. Call an HVAC technician if needed for internal heating unit repairs. Set the thermostat to emergency heat mode temporarily or use a space heater until regular heating can be restored. With some diligent troubleshooting and maintenance, you’ll be comfortably warm once again!

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