Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Look at the Thermostat
First, make sure your thermostat is instructing your heat to ignite.
- Change the batteries if the screen is blank. If the digital screen is mixed up, the thermostat may need to be changed.
- Make certain that the button is on “heat” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
- Make sure the program is showing the appropriate day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having problems overriding the setting, adjust the temperature with the up/down arrows and holding the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to start if thermostat is causing trouble.
- Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees above the room temperature.
If your heating hasn’t turned on within a couple minutes, make sure it has power by changing the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your heater could be without power.
If you have a smart thermostat—for example one made by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting is very model-specific. Take a look at the manufacturer’s website for support. If you still can’t get your Wi-Fi thermostat to operate, call us at 641-812-2028 for heating and cooling service.
2. Inspect Breakers and Switches
Next, verify your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Look for your main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure where it is, search for a silver metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet are dry in advance of touching the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker marked “furnace” or “heat,” and double-check it’s switched “on.” If you find that the breaker tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
- With one hand, firmly switch the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker immediately trips and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and contact a team member from Kapaun & Brown Inc. at 641-812-2028 quickly.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one ordinary wall switch situated on or near it.
- Ensure the lever is flipped up in the “on” spot. If it was turned off, expect your furnace to take up to five minutes to start. (If you don’t know where to find your furnace, take a look at your basement, garage or utility closet. It can also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Replace the Air Filter
When we consider furnace problems, a dirty, clogged air filter is regularly the top culprit.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your furnace won’t keep heating your home, or it could get too warm from reduced airflow.
- Your energy costs might be higher because your heating system is turning on more than it should.
- Your heat could stop working sooner than it should since a dirty filter triggers it to overwork.
- Your heater may be cut off from power if an extremely clogged filter causes the breaker to trip.
While it depends on what model of heating system you own, your air filter can be found within the blower compartment of your furnace, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Cut the power to your heating system.
- 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 pointing toward the heater to keep damage from happening.
Flat filters should 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 sooner.
To make the process go more quickly down the line, 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
Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans catch water your furnace draws from the air.
If moisture is dripping from your heating system or its pan is overflowing, use these steps.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it isn’t clogged. If it should be drained, use a special pan-cleaning tablet you can purchase at home improvement or hardware shops.
- If your pan contains a pump, inspect the float switch. If the lever is stuck “up” with liquid in the pan, call us at 641-812-2028, because you will possibly have to get a new pump.
5. Watch for Heating Error Codes
If malfunctions persist, take a look at your heater’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Depending on the type, the light could also be mounted on the outside of your heating system.
If you see anything except a steady, colored light or twinkling green light, call us at 641-812-2028 for HVAC service. Your heater could be communicating an error code that needs expert service.
6. Scrub the Flame Sensor
If your heater tries to run but switches off without distributing heated air, a dirty flame sensor might be to blame. When this takes place, your furnace will try to ignite three times before a safety feature shuts it down for approximately an hour.
If you feel confident with taking the panels off your heater, brushing off your flame sensor is work you have the ability to do on your own. Or, one of our heating service experts can finish it for you.
If you are fine with cleaning the sensor on your own, you require:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A fresh paper towel
- Turn off the furnace’s power with its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you will need to shut off the gas in addition.
- Remove the heater’s front panel and trace the wire to the flame sensor.
- Take off the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to lightly rub the metal rod.
- Clean the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Secure the furnace doors.
- Switch the furnace’s power back on. It may run through a series of examinations before resuming normal heating. If your heater doesn’t turn on, the sensor might have to be replaced or something else could be wrong. If this happens, contact us at 641-812-2028 for heating and cooling repair help.
7. Reignite the Pilot Light
If you are using an older heater, the pilot light could be out. To relight it, find the guide on a sheet on your furnace, or try these steps.
- Find the toggle below your furnace labeled “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Move the switch to the “off” position.
- Wait at least five minutes to prevent creating a fire.
- Push the switch to “pilot.”
- Press the “reset” button as you move the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Depress the “reset” switch once the pilot light is burning.
If you have used the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or stay lit, call us at 641-812-2028 for furnace service.
Inspect Your Energy Source
Try switching on another gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas service might be turned off, or you may have run out of propane.