Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Check the Thermostat
To begin, make sure your thermostat is instructing your furnace to ignite.
- Change the batteries if the monitor is blank. If the digital monitor is scrambled, the thermostat could need to be replaced.
- Make sure the control is on “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is showing the right day and time and is programmed to “run.” If you’re having trouble getting out of the setting, set the temperature by utilizing 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 warmer than the temperature of the room.
If your heat hasn’t started within a few minutes, make sure it has juice by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your furnace might not have power.
If you have a smart thermostat—such as one designed by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will depend on your model. Check the manufacturer’s website for help. If you still can’t get your Wi-Fi thermostat to operate, reach us at 251-471-2674 for heating and cooling service.
2. Examine Breakers and Switches
Next, confirm your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Locate your main electrical panel. If you don’t know where it is, look for a gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet are dry in advance of opening the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker marked “furnace” or “heat,” and ensure it’s turned “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” spot.
- With one hand, quickly 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 call a professional from Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc at 251-471-2674 immediately.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has no less than one ordinary wall switch located on or close to it.
- Make sure the lever is facing up in the “on” placement. If it was turned off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to ignite. (If you’re unsure where to find your furnace, look in your basement, garage or utility closet. It might also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Put in a New Air Filter
When it comes to heater breakdowns, a filthy, clogged air filter is regularly to blame.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your heat won’t be able to stay on, or it might overheat from restricted airflow.
- Your gas bills might increase because your furnace is turning on too often.
- Your furnace could break down prematurely since a filthy filter forces it to work harder.
- Your heating system can lose power if an extremely clogged filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.
Based on what type of heater you have, your air filter will be within the blower compartment of your furnace, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To swap out your filter:
- Cut the power to your furnace.
- Take out the filter and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t notice light through it, use a new one.
- Insert the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the heating system to keep damage from happening.
Flat filters need to 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 more often.
To make the procedure easier in the future, write with a permanent writing tool on your heating system outside or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Examine the Condensate Pan
Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans capture water your furnace removes from the air.
If moisture is seeping out of your heater or its pan is overflowing, use these steps.
- If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it isn’t full. If it requires draining, use a special pan-cleaning tablet you can purchase at home improvement or hardware shops.
- If your pan has a pump, inspect the float switch. If the lever can’t be moved from the “up” position with water in the pan, call us at 251-471-2674, because you will possibly have to install a new pump.
5. Watch for Heater Error Codes
If malfunctions continue, look within your furnace’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Subject to the type, the light may also be fixed on the surface of your furnace.
If you notice anything other than a solid, colored light or blinking green light, reach us at 251-471-2674 for HVAC service. Your heater could be communicating an error code that is calling for expert assistance.
6. Scrub the Flame Sensor
If your heating system tries to start but switches off without blowing heat, a dirty flame sensor could be at fault. When this occurs, your heating system will attempt to ignite three times before a safety feature turns it off for around an hour.
If you feel okay with taking the panels off your heater, brushing off your flame sensor is a job you can do on your own. Or, one of our heating service specialists is able to finish it for you.
If you are fine with cleaning the sensor yourself, you should have:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Piece of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- An unused paper towel
- Turn off the heating system’s power with its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you have to turn off the gas as well.
- Remove the furnace’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 gently clean the metal rod.
- Wipe off the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Replace the furnace doors.
- Turn the furnace’s power back on. It may run through a series of tests before continuing regular running. If your heater doesn’t ignite, the sensor may require replacement or something else could be creating an issue. If this occurs, get in touch with us at 251-471-2674 for heating and cooling repair support.
7. Light the Pilot Light
If you are using an older furnace, the pilot light could be turned off. To reignite it, locate the steps on a sticker on your heating system, or use these guidelines.
- Look for the toggle on the bottom of your furnace labeled “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Move the switch to the “off” position.
- Wait at least five minutes to prevent starting a fire.
- Push the switch to “pilot.”
- Press the “reset” switch as you move the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Let go of the “reset” switch once the pilot light is ignited.
If you have used the list twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or stay burning, get in touch with us at 251-471-2674 for furnace service.
Examine Your Gas Delivery System
Try turning on a second gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas source might be shut off, or you may have run out of propane.