Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Check the Thermostat
To start, make certain that your thermostat is instructing your heat to ignite.
- Swap out the batteries if the screen is blank. If the digital display is messed up, the thermostat might need to be changed.
- Make certain that the control is switched to “heat” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
- Make sure the program is showing the right day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having a hard time overriding the schedule, set the temperature by utilizing the up/down arrows and using the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to turn on if thermostat is causing a problem.
- Turn the temperature setting to 5 degrees above what the room temperature currently is.
If your furnace hasn’t kicked on within a couple minutes, ensure it has power by changing the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t begin to run, your heating system could be without power.
If you use a smart thermostat—such as one made by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will be determined by the model you have. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for assistance. If you’re still unable to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, call us at (616) 319-1436 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, keep an eye out for a metallic metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make sure your hands and feet aren’t wet before touching the panel or breakers.
- Find the breaker titled “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s moved to “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” spot.
- Moving one hand, steadily switch the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker instantly trips and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and contact a team member from West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services at (616) 319-1436 quickly.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has no less than one standard wall switch situated on or close to it.
- Make certain the lever is flipped up in the “on” position. If it was turned off, it could take your furnace 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. Replace the Air Filter
When we consider furnace problems, a dirty, clogged air filter is often the top offender.
If your filter is too dusty:
- Your heating system won’t be able to stay on, or it could overheat from reduced airflow.
- Your heating bills might increase because your heating system is operating more often.
- Your heating system might break down too soon because a dusty filter forces it to work harder.
- Your heating system might be disconnected from power if an excessively dirty filter results in a tripped breaker.
Depending on what type of furnace you have, your air filter will be inside the blower compartment of your heater, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Turn off your furnace.
- 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 facing toward the heating system 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 may have to put in a new filter sooner.
To make changing your filter go more quickly in the future, write with a permanent pen on your furnace exterior or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Check the Condensate Pan
Commonly known as drain pans, condensate pans catch liquid your heating system pulls from the air.
If liquid is dripping out of your heater or its pan has too much water in it, 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, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware stores.
- If your pan contains a pump, check the float switch. If the button is stuck “up” with water in the pan, contact us at (616) 319-1436, because you will possibly have to get a new pump.
5. Check for Heater Error Codes
If malfunctions continue, look within your furnace’s plastic window to check the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the model, the light may also be fixed on the exterior of your furnace.
If you see anything other than a solid, colored light or twinkling green light, contact us at (616) 319-1436 for HVAC service. Your heater might be giving an error code that requires pro assistance.
6. Scrub the Flame Sensor
If your heating system tries to work but switches off without blowing heat, a dusty flame sensor could be at fault. When this occurs, your furnace will attempt to turn on three times before a safety device shuts it down for approximately an hour.
If you feel okay with taking the panels off your heating system, gently scrubbing your flame sensor is something you are able to do on your own. Or, one of our heating service experts is able to do it for you.
If you are confident cleaning the sensor personally, you should have:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Bit 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 switch off the gas in addition.
- Lift 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 rub the metal rod.
- Clean the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Secure the furnace doors.
- Restore power to the furnace. It may run through a sequence of examinations before continuing usual running. If your heating system doesn’t turn on, the sensor may need to be replaced or something else might be wrong. If this takes place, get in touch with us at (616) 319-1436 for heating and cooling repair help.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you are using an outdated heating system, the pilot light could be turned off. To light it, locate the guide on a label on your furnace, or follow these recommendations.
- Look for the lever below your heater that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Turn the switch to the “off” position.
- Don’t do anything for at least five minutes to limit the possibility for starting a fire.
- Turn the dial to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” lever as you bring the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Let go of the “reset” lever once the pilot light is ignited.
If you have tried the list twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or keep burning, get in touch with us at (616) 319-1436 for furnace service.
Check Your Gas Supply
Try using a second gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas delivery may be shut off, or you might have run out of propane.