Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Examine the Thermostat
To start, make certain that your thermostat is instructing your furnace to turn on.
- Change the batteries if the display is empty. If the digital screen is jumbled, the thermostat may need to be swapped out.
- Make sure the switch is set to “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Ensure the program is set to the correct day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having problems turning off the program, set the temperature by using the up/down arrows and using the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to start if thermostat is causing an issue.
- Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than what the room temperature currently is.
If your heat hasn’t kicked on within a couple minutes, ensure it has power by changing the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your heating system may not have power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—like one made by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will depend on your model. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for assistance. If you still can’t get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, contact us at 715-384-3163 for heating and cooling service.
2. Inspect Breakers and Switches
Next, check if your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Look for your main electrical panel. If you have no idea where it is, look for a gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet aren’t moist prior to touching the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker titled “furnace” or “heat,” and double-check it’s turned “on.” If the breaker has tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” area.
- Moving one hand, steadily turn 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 House of Heating Incorporated at 715-384-3163 immediately.
It doesn’t matter how old your furnace is or what brand it is, it has no less than one ordinary wall switch set on or near it.
- Make sure the switch is moved up in the “on” placement. If it was switched off, expect your furnace to take up to five minutes to start. (If you’re unaware of where to locate your furnace, check your basement, garage or utility closet. It could also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Get a New Air Filter
When it comes to furnace problems, a filthy, blocked air filter is frequently the top offender.
If your filter is too dusty:
- Your furnace won’t keep heating your home, or it may overheat from limited airflow.
- Your energy bills may go up because your heater is working more often.
- Your heating system could stop working prematurely since a filthy filter forces it to overwork.
- Your heater might be disconnected from power if an excessively clogged filter causes the breaker to trip.
Depending on what type of heating system you have, your air filter will be in the interior of the blower compartment of your heater, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To put in a new filter:
- Cut the power to your heater.
- Remove the filter and angle it toward the light. If you can’t notice light through it, replace it.
- Put in the new filter with the arrow facing toward the heater to prevent damage.
Flat filters need to be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you could have to replace your filter more frequently.
To make the procedure easier in the future, use a permanent marker on your heating system housing or ductwork to show the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Check the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans capture water your furnace draws from the air.
If liquid is seeping from your heater or its pan has too much water in it, use these steps.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it isn’t full. If it needs to be drained, get a special pan-cleaning tablet you can purchase at home improvement or hardware shops.
- If your pan has a pump, check the float switch. If the button is jammed “up” with standing water in the pan, reach us at 715-384-3163, because you will probably have to buy a new pump.
5. Watch for Furnace Error Codes
If faults keep on happening, look at your heater’s plastic window to check the blower motor’s status. Subject to the brand, the light may also be mounted on the outside of your furnace.
If you note anything else besides a steady, colored light or flickering green light, contact us at 715-384-3163 for HVAC service. Your furnace may be emitting an error code that is calling for expert help.
6. Clean the Flame Sensor
If your heater attempts to operate but shuts off without distributing heated air, a dirty flame sensor could be to blame. When this occurs, your heating system will attempt to start three times before a safety device turns it off for about an hour.
If you feel comfortable with removing the panels from your heater, brushing off your flame sensor is a task you are able to do yourself. Or, one of our heating service experts has the ability to do it for you.
If you are confident cleaning the sensor personally, you should have:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A dry, clean paper towel
- Turn off the heating system’s power with its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you have to turn off the gas in addition.
- Lift off the heater’s front panel and track the wire to the flame sensor.
- Unscrew the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to lightly scrub the metal rod.
- Clear the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Replace the furnace doors.
- Switch the furnace’s power back on. It may run through a series of checks before continuing regular heating. If your furnace doesn’t start, the sensor might have to be replaced or something else may be causing a problem. If this happens, contact us at 715-384-3163 for heating and cooling repair help.
7. Light the Pilot Light
If you own an older furnace, the pilot light could be turned off. To light it, locate the directions on a label on your heater, or follow these steps.
- Find the toggle on the bottom of your heating system marked “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Move the switch to the “off” position.
- Take a break for at least five minutes to avoid starting a fire.
- Turn the dial to “pilot.”
- Press the “reset” lever as you move the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Depress the “reset” button once the pilot light is burning.
If you have followed the list twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or stay burning, get in touch with us at 715-384-3163 for furnace service.
Double-Check Your Fuel Source
Try using another gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas service may be switched off, or you could be out of propane.