Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Examine the Thermostat
To start, make certain that your thermostat is signaling your heat to turn on.
- Change the batteries if the screen is not displaying anything. If the digital display is jumbled, the thermostat could need to be replaced.
- Make sure the switch is on “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Make sure the program is displaying the correct day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having trouble getting out of the schedule, regulate the temperature by using the up/down arrows and holding the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to start if thermostat is causing an issue.
- Turn the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than what the room temperature currently is.
If your heater hasn’t kicked on within several minutes, make certain that it has juice by switching the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your heating system may not have power.
If you have a smart thermostat—like one designed by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting is very model-specific. Take a look at the manufacturer’s website for assistance. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to work, reach us at 641-316-9803 for heating and cooling service.
2. Check 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 metallic metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make certain that your hands and feet aren’t wet prior to touching the panel or breakers.
- Look for the breaker titled “furnace” or “heat,” and ensure it’s reading “on.” If the breaker has tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
- Moving one hand, steadily turn the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker trips right away and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and contact a professional from Brookwood Inc at 641-316-9803 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 close to it.
- Make certain the lever is facing up in the “on” placement. If it was switched off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to ignite. (If you’re unaware of where to locate your furnace, look in your basement, garage or utility closet. It might also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Replace the Air Filter
When we consider furnace problems, a grungy, blocked air filter is frequently the top culprit.
If your filter is too grungy:
- Your heating system won’t keep heating your home, or it could get too warm from reduced airflow.
- Your gas bills could be higher because your heater is operating more often.
- Your heating system might stop working sooner than it should because a filthy filter forces it to work overtime.
- Your heating system can lose power if an excessively filthy filter causes the breaker to trip.
Based on what type of furnace you own, your air filter can be found in the interior of 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 heater.
- Take out the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t view light through it, get a new one.
- Put in the new filter with the arrow motioning toward the furnace to avoid damage.
Flat filters ought to be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you could have to change your filter more often.
To make the process easier down the line, draw with a permanent writing tool on your furnace housing or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Look at the Condensate Pan
Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans hold water your heating system pulls from the air.
If liquid is leaking out of your furnace or its pan has standing water in it, follow these guidelines.
- If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it’s clear. If it requires draining, use a special pan-cleaning tablet you can get at home improvement or hardware stores.
- If your pan has a pump, check the float switch. If the lever is stuck “up” with standing water in the pan, reach us at 641-316-9803, because you will probably have to install a new pump.
5. Watch for Heater Error Codes
If faults keep on happening, take a look within your furnace’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Subject to the model, the light could also be mounted on the outside of your heating system.
If you see anything other than a steady, colored light or blinking green light, call us at 641-316-9803 for HVAC service. Your heater might be emitting an error code that is calling for professional service.
6. Scrub the Flame Sensor
If your furnace makes an effort to work but switches off without blowing warmth, a filthy flame sensor could be responsible. When this occurs, your heater will attempt to ignite three times before a safety feature powers it down for approximately an hour.
If you feel comfortable with taking the panels off your furnace, brushing off your flame sensor is a task you are able to do personally. Or, one of our heating service professionals is able to complete it for you.
If you are confident cleaning the sensor personally, you should have:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Piece of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- An unused paper towel
- Disable the furnace’s power by using its wall switch or breaker. If your furnace’s gas valve isn’t electric, you will need to switch off the gas in addition.
- Lift off the furnace’s front panel and follow the wire to the flame sensor.
- Remove the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to gently clean the metal rod.
- Wipe off the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Secure the furnace doors.
- Turn the furnace’s power back on. It may go through a set of inspections before resuming regular operation. If your heater doesn’t ignite, the sensor might require replacement or something else might be wrong. If this happens, call us at 641-316-9803 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Reignite the Pilot Light
If you are using an older heater, the pilot light could be out. To light it, locate the guide on a sheet on your furnace, or follow these steps.
- Find the lever on the bottom of your heating system that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Turn the switch to the “off” position.
- Don’t do anything for at least five minutes to avoid starting a fire.
- Push the switch to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” button as you move the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Depress the “reset” button once the pilot light is ignited.
If you have tried the list twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or stay ignited, contact us at 641-316-9803 for furnace service.
Examine Your Gas Supply
Try turning on a second gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas delivery could be shut off, or you may have run out of propane.