Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Inspect the Thermostat
To start, ensure your thermostat is instructing your heat to turn on.
- Replace the batteries if the monitor is empty. If the digital screen is messed up, the thermostat could need to be changed.
- Ensure the switch is set to “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
- Ensure the program is set to the right day and time and is programmed to “run.” If you’re having trouble overriding the setting, adjust the temperature with the up/down arrows and pressing the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to start if thermostat is causing trouble.
- Turn the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than what the room temperature currently is.
If your heater hasn’t turned on within a few minutes, make sure it has power by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t begin to run, your heater may not have power.
If you have a smart thermostat—for example one made by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting is very model-specific. Check the manufacturer’s website for help. If you still can’t get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, call us at 276-302-0076 for heating and cooling service.
2. Examine Breakers and Switches
Next, verify your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Locate your main electrical panel. If you don’t know where it is, keep an eye out for a silver metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make sure your hands and feet aren’t wet prior to touching the panel or breakers.
- Find the breaker marked “furnace” or “heat,” and ensure it’s moved to “on.” If you find that the breaker tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” spot.
- Moving one hand, steadily switch the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker instantly trips and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and get in touch with a professional from HCE Systems Inc at 276-302-0076 quickly.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one standard wall switch installed on or close to it.
- Ensure the control is flipped up in the “on” placement. If it was shut off, anticipate your furnace could take up to five minutes to turn on. (If you don’t know where to locate your furnace, take a look at your basement, garage or utility closet. It might also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Get a New Air Filter
When it comes to heater problems, a dirty, full air filter is frequently to blame.
If your filter is too dusty:
- Your heat won’t be able to stay on, or it may overheat from restricted airflow.
- Your utility expenses may increase because your heater is operating more often.
- Your heater could stop working prematurely since a dirty filter triggers it to work harder.
- Your heater might be cut off from power if an extremely filthy filter causes the breaker to trip.
Depending on what make of furnace you have, your air filter will be inside the blower compartment of your heating system, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To swap out your filter:
- Turn off your furnace.
- Pull out the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t view light through it, use a new one.
- Insert the new filter with the arrow facing toward the heating system to prevent damage.
Flat filters need to be replaced once a month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you could have to change your filter more frequently.
To make the process go more quickly down the road, write with a permanent writing tool on your heater outside or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Examine the Condensate Pan
Commonly known as drain pans, condensate pans hold water your heater pulls from the air.
If moisture is seeping from your heater or its pan is overflowing, follow these steps.
- If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), make sure that it isn’t full. If it needs to be drained, use a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware shops.
- If your pan uses a pump, take a look at the float switch. If the lever is jammed “up” with water in the pan, call us at 276-302-0076, because you will likely need a new pump.
5. Watch for Furnace Error Codes
If malfunctions continue, peek at your heating system’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the model, the light might also be fixed on the outside of your furnace.
If you see anything else besides a solid, colored light or twinkling green light, contact us at 276-302-0076 for HVAC service. Your heater might be emitting an error code that needs specialized service.
6. Brush off the Flame Sensor
If your heater tries to start but turns off without blowing warmth, a dusty flame sensor can be at fault. When this occurs, your heating system will try to start three times before a safety mechanism powers it down for approximately an hour.
If you feel okay with removing the panels from your heater, brushing off your flame sensor is a task you can do yourself. Or, one of our heating service specialists can complete it for you.
If you want to clean the sensor personally, you should have:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A fresh paper towel
As the next step:
- Shut off the furnace’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you have to turn off the gas along with it.
- Lift off the heater’s front panel and follow the wire to the flame sensor.
- Unscrew the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to gently scrub the metal rod.
- Clear the rod with a paper towel.
- Remount the sensor.
- Secure the furnace doors.
- Turn the furnace’s power back on. It may run through a set of examinations before continuing normal running. If your heating system doesn’t turn on, the sensor could need to be replaced or something else might be wrong. If this occurs, contact us at 276-302-0076 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Light the Pilot Light
If you own an outdated furnace, the pilot light could be turned off. To light it, locate the directions on a sheet on your heater, or follow these recommendations.
- Locate the toggle below your heater that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Move the switch to the “off” position.
- Take a break for at least five minutes to avoid sparking a fire.
- Move the dial to “pilot.”
- Hold down the “reset” button as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Release the “reset” switch once the pilot light is ignited.
If you have tried the instructions twice and the pilot light still won’t light or remain ignited, call us at 276-302-0076 for furnace service.
Inspect Your Energy Delivery System
Try using another gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas source may be shut off, or you might have run out of propane.