Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Check the Thermostat
To begin, make certain that your thermostat is instructing your furnace to turn on.
- Replace the batteries if the screen is not displaying anything. If the digital screen is scrambled, the thermostat could need to be swapped out.
- Make certain that the button is set to “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is showing the correct day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having trouble getting out of the schedule, regulate the temperature with the up/down arrows and pressing the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to turn on if thermostat is causing an issue.
- Turn the temperature setting to 5 degrees above what the room temperature currently is.
If your furnace hasn’t kicked on within several minutes, make certain that it has juice by changing the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your heater could be without power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—such as one designed 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 function, call us at 724-401-1843 for heating and cooling service.
2. Check Breakers and Switches
Next, check if your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Look for your main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure where it is, keep an eye out for a gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make sure your hands and feet are dry before touching the panel or breakers.
- Look for the breaker labeled “furnace” or “heat,” and ensure it’s reading “on.” If the breaker has tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” area.
- Moving one hand, quickly flip 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 Central Heating & Plumbing at 724-401-1843 immediately.
It doesn’t matter how old your furnace is or what brand it is, it has at least one ordinary wall switch located on or by it.
- Make certain the control is facing up in the “on” placement. If it was shut off, expect your furnace to take up to five minutes to ignite. (If you don’t know where your furnace is located, look in your basement, garage or utility closet. It can also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Get a New Air Filter
When it comes to furnace breakdowns, a grungy, full air filter is often the top culprit.
If your filter is too grungy:
- Your heater won’t be able to stay on, or it may overheat from restricted airflow.
- Your utility bills may increase because your heat is switching on more often.
- Your heater might fail too soon due to the fact a filthy filter triggers it to work overtime.
- Your heating may be disconnected from power if an excessively clogged filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.
Based on what model of heating system you own, your air filter can be found in the interior of 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 heater.
- Remove the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t view light through it, replace it.
- Insert the new filter with the arrow motioning toward the heating system to keep damage from happening.
Flat filters ought to be replaced once a month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you might have to put in a new filter more often.
To make the procedure go more quickly down the road, draw with a permanent marker on your furnace outside or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Inspect the Condensate Pan
Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans hold moisture your furnace removes from the air.
If liquid is dripping out of your heating system or its pan is overflowing, follow these recommendations.
- If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it isn’t clogged. If it requires draining, get a special pan-cleaning tablet you can purchase at home improvement or hardware retailers.
- If your pan has a pump, inspect the float switch. If the button can’t be moved from the “up” position with standing water in the pan, call us at 724-401-1843, because you will likely have to get a new pump.
5. Look for Furnace Error Codes
If faults continue, look within your furnace’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the type, the light might also be fixed on the exterior of your furnace.
If you see anything else besides a solid, colored light or blinking green light, call us at 724-401-1843 for HVAC service. Your heating system might be emitting an error code that needs expert help.
6. Clean the Flame Sensor
If your heater attempts to work but switches off without blowing heat, a filthy flame sensor can be at fault. When this occurs, your heater will make an attempt to ignite three times before a safety device shuts it down for around an hour.
If you feel okay with opening up your furnace, cleaning your flame sensor is something you can do on your own. Or, one of our heating service experts is able to finish it for you.
If you want to clean the sensor personally, you need:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Section of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A dry, clean paper towel
- Shut off the furnace’s power by using its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you will need to switch off the gas along with it.
- Take off the furnace’s front panel and track the wire to the flame sensor.
- Take off 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 could run through a set of tests before proceeding with usual operation. If your furnace doesn’t turn on, the sensor may have to be replaced or something else could be creating an issue. If this happens, get in touch with us at 724-401-1843 for heating and cooling repair support.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you have an outdated furnace, the pilot light could be extinguished. To relight it, look for the directions on a sticker on your furnace, or use these recommendations.
- Find the lever below your furnace that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Move the switch to the “off” position.
- Wait at least five minutes to avoid creating a fire.
- Turn the switch to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” button as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Let go of the “reset” button once the pilot light is ignited.
If you have used the list twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or remain burning, contact us at 724-401-1843 for furnace service.
Examine Your Gas Supply
Try turning on another gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas delivery may be turned off, or you could be out of propane.