Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Look at the Thermostat
To start, ensure your thermostat is instructing your heat to ignite.
- Swap out the batteries if the monitor is blank. If the digital screen is mixed up, the thermostat might need to be replaced.
- Make certain that the switch is switched to “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is set to the right day and time and is programmed to “run.” If you’re having trouble overriding the program, 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 trouble.
- Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than what the room temperature currently is.
If your heater hasn’t started within several minutes, ensure it has power by moving the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t begin to run, your heater could be without power.
If you use a smart thermostat—for example one made by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting is very model-specific. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for assistance. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to operate, reach us at 812-200-5844 for heating and cooling service.
2. Inspect Breakers and Switches
Next, confirm 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 aren’t moist before touching the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker titled “furnace” or “heat,” and ensure it’s reading “on.” If the breaker has tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” spot.
- Moving one hand, firmly 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 professional from Dearing's Service & Solutions at 812-200-5844 right away.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has no less than one standard wall switch located on or near it.
- Ensure the control is facing up in the “on” spot. If it was shut off, anticipate your furnace could take up to five minutes to start. (If you’re unsure where your furnace is located, check your basement, garage or utility closet. It can also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Put in a New Air Filter
When we think about heating problems, a grungy, clogged air filter is often the top culprit.
If your filter is too dusty:
- Your heat won’t stay on, or it might get too hot from limited airflow.
- Your energy bills might be higher because your heat is switching on more often.
- Your heat may stop working sooner than it should because a filthy filter causes it to work harder.
- Your furnace may be cut off from power if an excessively clogged filter results in a tripped breaker.
Based on what model of heating system you use, your air filter will be within the blower compartment of your furnace, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Switch off your heater.
- Pull out the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t notice light through it, use a new one.
- Put in the new filter with the arrow facing toward the furnace to avoid damage.
Flat filters should be replaced every month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you might have to replace your filter more frequently.
To make changing your filter easier in the future, draw with a permanent writing tool on your heater outside or ductwork to show the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Examine the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans capture moisture your heating system removes from the air.
If moisture is seeping from your heater or its pan is overflowing, try these recommendations.
- If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), check that it isn’t full. If it needs to be drained, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can purchase at home improvement or hardware shops.
- If your pan has a pump, check the float switch. If the switch can’t be moved from the “up” position with water in the pan, contact us at 812-200-5844, because you will possibly have to get a new pump.
5. Watch for Heater Error Codes
If faults continue, peek at your heater’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the brand, the light could also be mounted on the outside of your heater.
If you note anything else besides a solid, colored light or twinkling green light, call us at 812-200-5844 for HVAC service. Your furnace might be emitting an error code that is calling for expert service.
6. Clean the Flame Sensor
If your heating system tries to work but turns off without blowing heated air, a dirty flame sensor could be responsible. When this occurs, your heating system will attempt to turn on three times before a safety mechanism shuts it down for about an hour.
If you feel okay with opening up your heating system, brushing off your flame sensor is something you have the ability to do personally. Or, one of our heating service specialists can do it for you.
If you are confident cleaning the sensor on your own, you need:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A dry, clean paper towel
- Turn off the heater’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If your furnace’s gas valve isn’t electric, you must shut off the gas in addition.
- Remove the heater’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.
- Clean the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Restore power to the furnace. It might proceed through a sequence of checks before resuming regular operation. If your furnace doesn’t turn on, the sensor could have to be replaced or something else may be creating an issue. If this happens, call us at 812-200-5844 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you have an older heater, the pilot light could be out. To light it, look for the instructions on a sticker on your heater, or try these guidelines.
- Locate the toggle below your heating system marked “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Push the switch to the “off” position.
- Don’t do anything for at least five minutes to avoid starting a fire.
- Move the switch to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” lever as you move 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 tried the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or remain burning, get in touch with us at 812-200-5844 for furnace service.
Inspect Your Fuel Delivery System
Try switching on a second gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas delivery may be switched off, or you may have run out of propane.