Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Examine the Thermostat
To begin, ensure your thermostat is signaling your heater to ignite.
- Replace the batteries if the monitor is blank. If the digital screen is mixed up, the thermostat might need to be changed.
- Make certain that the button is switched to “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is showing the appropriate day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having a hard time overriding the setting, adjust the temperature by utilizing the up/down arrows and holding the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to start if thermostat is causing trouble.
- Turn the temperature setting to 5 degrees above the temperature of the room.
If your furnace hasn’t turned on within a couple minutes, ensure it has juice by changing the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your heater may not have power.
If you have a smart thermostat—for example one manufactured 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 operate, reach us at 763-276-0617 for heating and cooling service.
2. Inspect Breakers and Switches
Next, confirm your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Look for your main electrical panel. If you have no idea where it is, search for a gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make certain that your hands and feet are dry prior to opening the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker labeled “furnace” or “heat,” and ensure it’s moved to “on.” If the breaker has tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” spot.
- With one hand, firmly flip the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker immediately trips and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and contact an expert from Home Comfort Heating & Air at 763-276-0617 right away.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one standard wall switch placed on or near it.
- Ensure the control is flipped up in the “on” spot. If it was shut off, anticipate your furnace could take up to five minutes to start. (If you’re unsure where to find your furnace, check 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 furnace problems, a grungy, clogged air filter is frequently the top culprit.
If your filter is too grungy:
- Your furnace won’t be able to stay on, or it may get too warm from limited airflow.
- Your utility expenses could go up because your heating system is operating more than it should.
- Your heater may break down sooner than it should since a filthy filter forces it to work harder.
- Your heater can be disconnected from power if an extremely dirty filter causes the breaker to trip.
Depending on what make of heating system you have, your air filter can be found within the blower compartment of your heater, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Switch off your heater.
- Remove the filter and angle it toward the light. If you can’t view light through it, get a new one.
- Insert the new filter with the arrow motioning toward the heating system to keep damage from happening.
Flat filters should be replaced every month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you could have to put in a new filter more often.
To make changing your filter go more quickly down the line, write with a permanent pen on your heater housing or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Check the Condensate Pan
Commonly known as drain pans, condensate pans hold water your furnace pulls from the air.
If liquid is leaking from within your heating system or its pan has standing water in it, use these steps.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), check that it’s clear. If it needs to be drained, get a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware shops.
- If your pan has a pump, inspect the float switch. If the switch is jammed “up” with water in the pan, reach us at 763-276-0617, because you will probably have to install a new pump.
5. Look for Heater Error Codes
If faults continue, peek within your heater’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Depending on the type, the light may also be fixed on the outside of your heating system.
If you notice anything except a solid, colored light or blinking green light, call us at 763-276-0617 for HVAC service. Your heating system might be emitting an error code that is calling for professional help.
6. Brush off the Flame Sensor
If your furnace makes an effort to operate but switches off without putting out heated air, a dirty flame sensor can be at fault. When this takes place, your heating system will attempt to turn on three times before a safety feature powers it down for approximately an hour.
If you feel comfortable with removing the panels from your furnace, cleaning your flame sensor is work you are able to do yourself. Or, one of our heating service specialists has the ability to do it for you.
If you are confident cleaning the sensor on your own, you require:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Bit of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A fresh paper towel
As the next step:
- Disable the heater’s power by using its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you must turn off the gas as well.
- Take off the heating system’s front panel and trace the wire to the flame sensor.
- Unscrew the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to carefully clean the metal rod.
- Clear the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Secure the furnace doors.
- Restore power to the furnace. It could go through a sequence of checks before resuming usual heating. If your furnace doesn’t start, the sensor could have to be replaced or something else could be creating an issue. If this takes place, contact us at 763-276-0617 for heating and cooling repair support.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you have an older furnace, the pilot light could be turned off. To relight it, locate the steps on a sheet on your heater, or follow these guidelines.
- Look for the lever below your heater labeled “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Move the switch to the “off” position.
- Wait at least five minutes to avoid starting a fire.
- Move the switch to “pilot.”
- Press the “reset” button as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Release the “reset” button once the pilot light is burning.
If you have used the instructions twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or stay ignited, contact us at 763-276-0617 for furnace service.
Inspect Your Gas Source
Try switching on another gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas source might be shut off, or you might have run out of propane.