Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Examine the Thermostat
To begin, ensure your thermostat is instructing your heat to ignite.
- Replace the batteries if the display is empty. If the digital monitor is jumbled, the thermostat may need to be swapped out.
- Make certain that the button is set to “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
- Make sure the program is displaying the right day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having a hard time overriding the schedule, adjust the temperature with the up/down arrows and holding the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to ignite if thermostat is causing an issue.
- Turn the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than the temperature of the room.
If your heating hasn’t kicked on within a few minutes, ensure it has juice by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your heater may not have power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—such as one designed by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting is very model-specific. Check the manufacturer’s website for help. If you still can’t get your Wi-Fi thermostat to work, reach us at 740-474-5940 for heating and cooling service.
2. Inspect Breakers and Switches
Next, check if 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 gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make sure your hands and feet are dry prior to using the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker titled “furnace” or “heat,” and double-check it’s switched “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” area.
- Using one hand, quickly turn 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 professional from Stephen Hurst Pack Heating and Cooling, Inc at 740-474-5940 immediately.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one standard wall switch set on or near it.
- Ensure the switch is facing up in the “on” position. If it was shut off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to start. (If you’re unsure 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 heater problems, a grungy, blocked air filter is often the top offender.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your furnace won’t keep heating your home, or it might get too warm from limited airflow.
- Your energy expenses may increase because your heat is working more often.
- Your heat could break down too soon because a dirty filter triggers it to work harder.
- Your heating can be cut off from power if an extremely clogged filter results in a tripped breaker.
Depending on what model of heater you own, your air filter is located within the blower compartment of your heating system, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To put in a new filter:
- Switch off your heating system.
- Remove the filter and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t view light through it, replace it.
- Install the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the heating system to avoid damage.
Flat filters should be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you may have to change your filter more often.
To make the procedure go more quickly down the line, draw with a permanent marker on your heating system outside or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Check the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans capture water your furnace removes from the air.
If water is dripping out of your furnace or its pan has too much water in it, try these recommendations.
- If your pan includes a drain (look for a PVC pipe), make sure that it isn’t clogged. If it should be drained, get a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware retailers.
- If your pan uses a pump, inspect the float switch. If the lever is jammed “up” with standing water in the pan, call us at 740-474-5940, because you will probably need a new pump.
5. Check for Heater Error Codes
If malfunctions continue, look at your furnace’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Depending on the type, the light may also be fixed on the surface of your heating system.
If you note anything else besides an uninterrupted, colored light or twinkling green light, call us at 740-474-5940 for HVAC service. Your heater could be giving an error code that needs specialized help.
6. Clean the Flame Sensor
If your heater tries to work but shuts off without putting out warmth, a dusty flame sensor might be at fault. When this takes place, your heater will try to ignite three times before a safety feature shuts it down for about an hour.
If you feel confident with taking the panels off your furnace, brushing off your flame sensor is a job you can do yourself. Or, one of our heating service experts has the ability to finish it for you.
If you are fine with cleaning the sensor on your own, you need:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Bit of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A fresh paper towel
As the next step:
- Shut off the heating system’s power with its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you must turn off the gas as well.
- Take off the heating system’s front panel and follow the wire to the flame sensor.
- Remove the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to gently rub the metal rod.
- Wipe off the rod with a paper towel.
- Put the sensor back in.
- Secure the furnace doors.
- Restore power to the furnace. It might go through a sequence of inspections before proceeding with normal operation. If your heater doesn’t turn on, the sensor could require replacement or something else could be causing a problem. If this occurs, get in touch with us at 740-474-5940 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Light the Pilot Light
If you own an older furnace, the pilot light could be out. To relight it, find the guide on a label on your furnace, or follow these recommendations.
- Locate the switch below your heater labeled “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Turn the switch to the “off” position.
- Take a break for at least five minutes to prevent sparking a fire.
- Turn the dial to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” switch as you push 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 tried the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or keep ignited, contact us at 740-474-5940 for furnace service.
Check Your Fuel Delivery System
Try turning on another gas appliance. If it doesn’t function, your natural gas delivery could be switched off, or you might have run out of propane.