Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Check the Thermostat
To begin, ensure your thermostat is telling your furnace to turn on.
- Replace the batteries if the screen is empty. If the digital screen is scrambled, the thermostat may need to be swapped out.
- Ensure the button is switched to “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
- Ensure the program is set to the appropriate day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having problems turning off the program, adjust the temperature by utilizing the up/down arrows and holding the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to start if thermostat is causing trouble.
- Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees hotter than the temperature of the room.
If your heating hasn’t started within a couple minutes, make sure it has electricity by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t operate, your heater may not have power.
If you have a smart thermostat—like one manufactured by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will be determined by the model you have. Take a look at the manufacturer’s website for assistance. If you’re still unable to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, call us at 812-663-7252 for heating and cooling service.
2. Examine 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, look for a gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet aren’t moist prior to touching the panel or breakers.
- Look for the breaker labeled “furnace” or “heat,” and double-check it’s moved to “on.” If you find that the breaker tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” area.
- Moving one hand, firmly switch 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 Wallpe Heating & Cooling at 812-663-7252 immediately.
Regardless of your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one regular wall switch installed on or close to it.
- Make certain the lever is flipped up in the “on” spot. If it was shut off, expect your furnace to take up to five minutes to ignite. (If you’re unsure where your furnace is located, take a look at your basement, garage or utility closet. It may also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Get a New Air Filter
When we think about heater issues, a grungy, blocked air filter is often the top offender.
If your filter is too dusty:
- Your heat won’t be able to stay on, or it might get too hot from limited airflow.
- Your gas bills might go up because your heating system is working more than it should.
- Your heat could stop working too soon because a dusty filter triggers it to work overtime.
- Your furnace may be cut off from power if an extremely filthy filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.
Depending on what model of furnace you own, your air filter can be found in the interior of the blower compartment of your heater, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Cut the power to your heating system.
- Remove the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t notice light through it, replace it.
- Put in the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the furnace to prevent damage.
Flat filters ought to be replaced once a month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you may have to replace your filter more often.
To make changing your filter go more quickly in the future, write with a permanent writing tool on your furnace exterior or ductwork to show the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Look at the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans catch moisture your heater draws from the air.
If moisture is seeping from within your heating system or its pan has standing water in it, try these guidelines.
- If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it isn’t full. If it should be drained, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can get at home improvement or hardware retailers.
- If your pan uses a pump, take a look at the float switch. If the switch is stuck “up” with water in the pan, reach us at 812-663-7252, because you will possibly have to buy a new pump.
5. Watch for Heater Error Codes
If malfunctions continue, peek within your heater’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Depending on the type, the light could also be fixed on the outside of your heater.
If you note anything except a steady, colored light or twinkling green light, contact us at 812-663-7252 for HVAC service. Your heating system may be communicating an error code that is calling for pro help.
6. Scrub the Flame Sensor
If your furnace makes an effort to operate but shuts off without blowing warmth, a dusty flame sensor could be to blame. When this occurs, your furnace will make an attempt to turn on three times before a safety device shuts it down for about an hour.
If you feel confident with taking the panels off your heating system, cleaning your flame sensor is a task you can do personally. Or, one of our heating service professionals has the ability to complete it for you.
If you are confident cleaning the sensor yourself, you should have:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Piece 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 your furnace’s gas valve isn’t electric, you must turn off the gas in addition.
- Lift off the heater’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.
- Clear the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Restore power to the furnace. It might run through a sequence of inspections before continuing usual running. If your heating system doesn’t turn on, the sensor may have to be replaced or something else could be wrong. If this happens, get in touch with us at 812-663-7252 for heating and cooling repair support.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you have an outdated furnace, the pilot light could be turned off. To relight it, look for the steps on a sticker on your heater, or use these steps.
- Locate the toggle on the bottom of your furnace that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Turn the switch to the “off” position.
- Wait at least five minutes to avoid creating a fire.
- Push the switch to “pilot.”
- Hold down the “reset” button as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Let go of the “reset” lever once the pilot light is lit.
If you have gone through the list twice and the pilot light still won’t light or keep burning, get in touch with us at 812-663-7252 for furnace service.
Check Your Fuel Delivery System
Try using a second gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas delivery could be shut off, or you may have run out of propane.