Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Look at the Thermostat
First, ensure your thermostat is signaling your heater to ignite.
- Swap out the batteries if the monitor is empty. If the digital display is mixed up, the thermostat could need to be swapped out.
- Make sure the switch is switched to “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Ensure the program is showing the appropriate day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having a hard time overriding the schedule, regulate the temperature by using the up/down arrows and using the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to turn on if thermostat is causing a problem.
- Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees hotter than the temperature of the room.
If your heating 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 begin to run, your furnace could be without power.
If you have 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 support. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to operate, reach us at 940-202-1184 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 aren’t sure where it is, look for a metallic metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make certain that your hands and feet aren’t wet in advance of touching the panel or breakers.
- Look for the breaker labeled “furnace” or “heat,” and ensure it’s moved to “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
- With one hand, quickly flip the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker immediately trips and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and get in touch with an expert from Pepper AC & Htg Inc at 940-202-1184 immediately.
Regardless of your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one regular wall switch installed on or near it.
- Ensure the lever is facing up in the “on” position. If it was switched off, anticipate your furnace could take up to five minutes to turn on. (If you’re unaware of where your furnace is located, check your basement, garage or utility closet. It may also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Get a New Air Filter
When it comes to heating problems, a filthy, clogged air filter is regularly the top culprit.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your heater won’t stay on, or it may overheat from reduced airflow.
- Your energy expenses might go up because your heat is switching on more often.
- Your heat may fail too soon since a filthy filter causes it to overwork.
- Your heater might lose power if an excessively clogged filter results in a tripped breaker.
Based on what model of heating system you have, your air filter can be found within the blower compartment of your heating system, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To swap out your filter:
- Cut the power to your heating system.
- Take out the filter and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, use a new one.
- Insert the new filter with the arrow facing toward the heater to avoid damage.
Flat filters ought to be replaced every month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you may have to replace your filter more frequently.
To make the procedure easier down the road, use a permanent pen on your heater housing or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Examine the Condensate Pan
Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans capture moisture your heater pulls from the air.
If water is seeping from within your furnace or its pan is overflowing, follow these steps.
- If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), check that it isn’t full. If it requires draining, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware retailers.
- If your pan has a pump, inspect the float switch. If the lever is stuck “up” with water in the pan, call us at 940-202-1184, because you will probably have to buy a new pump.
5. Check for Heating Error Codes
If malfunctions keep on happening, peek at your heater’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Depending on the type, the light might also be fixed on the surface of your furnace.
If you note anything other than an uninterrupted, colored light or blinking green light, call us at 940-202-1184 for HVAC service. Your heating system could be giving an error code that requires expert help.
6. Clean the Flame Sensor
If your heater makes an effort to start but turns off without distributing warmth, a dusty flame sensor can be to blame. When this occurs, your heater will try to turn on three times before a safety feature shuts it down for about an hour.
If you feel comfortable with removing the panels from your heater, cleaning your flame sensor is a job you can do personally. Or, one of our heating service experts is able to finish it for you.
If you are fine with cleaning the sensor yourself, you need:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- An unused paper towel
As the next step:
- Disable the heating system’s power by using its wall switch or breaker. If your furnace’s gas valve isn’t electric, you have to switch off the gas along with it.
- Take off the furnace’s front panel and track the wire to the flame sensor.
- Remove the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to gently clean the metal rod.
- Clean the rod with a paper towel.
- Remount the sensor.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Turn the furnace’s power back on. It might run through a set of checks before continuing normal running. If your heating system doesn’t start, the sensor might need to be replaced or something else may be causing a problem. If this occurs, contact us at 940-202-1184 for heating and cooling repair support.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you own an outdated heating system, the pilot light could be turned off. To reignite it, locate the guide on a label on your furnace, or follow these guidelines.
- Locate the lever below your heating system that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Move the switch to the “off” position.
- Don’t do anything for at least five minutes to avoid sparking a fire.
- Push the switch to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” switch as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Depress the “reset” button once the pilot light is burning.
If you have tried the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t light or remain ignited, call us at 940-202-1184 for furnace service.
Inspect Your Fuel Delivery System
Try switching on an additional gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas service may be turned off, or you might have run out of propane.