Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Inspect the Thermostat
First, ensure your thermostat is signaling your heater to start.
- Swap out the batteries if the monitor is not displaying anything. If the digital display is mixed up, the thermostat could need to be swapped out.
- Make certain that the switch is on “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is set to the appropriate day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having problems overriding the program, adjust the temperature with the up/down arrows and pressing the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to turn on if thermostat is causing an issue.
- Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees hotter than what the room temperature currently is.
If your heat hasn’t kicked on within several minutes, make certain that it has juice by changing the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t begin to run, your heater may not have power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—such as one manufactured by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting is very model-specific. Check the manufacturer’s website for help. If you’re still unable to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to work, call us at 270-358-3167 for heating and cooling service.
2. Examine Breakers and Switches
Next, verify your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Look for your main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure where it is, search for a gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make sure your hands and feet are dry prior to opening the panel or breakers.
- Look for the breaker marked “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s switched “on.” If the breaker has tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
- 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 get in touch with a team member from Phelps Heating & Cooling at 270-358-3167 right away.
It doesn’t matter how old your furnace is or what brand it is, it has at least one ordinary wall switch set on or by it.
- Make certain the control is flipped up in the “on” position. If it was shut off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to turn on. (If you don’t know where to locate your furnace, look in your basement, garage or utility closet. It might also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Replace the Air Filter
When it comes to heater problems, a dirty, clogged air filter is regularly the top culprit.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your heat won’t be able to stay on, or it could get too hot from restricted airflow.
- Your utility costs might be higher because your heat is working more often.
- Your heating system may break down sooner than it should since a filthy filter forces it to work overtime.
- Your heating may be disconnected from power if an extremely filthy filter causes the breaker to trip.
Depending on what model of heating system you use, your air filter will be inside the blower compartment of your heater, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To put in a new filter:
- Switch off your furnace.
- Remove the filter and angle it toward the light. If you can’t view light through it, use a new one.
- Insert the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the heating system to prevent damage.
Flat filters should be replaced every month, 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 easier down the line, draw with a permanent pen on your heating system exterior or ductwork to show the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Examine the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans hold liquid your heater pulls from the air.
If water is leaking out of your heating system or its pan is overflowing, follow these guidelines.
- If your pan includes a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it’s clear. If it should be drained, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware stores.
- If your pan uses a pump, check the float switch. If the switch is jammed “up” with water in the pan, reach us at 270-358-3167, because you will likely need a new pump.
5. Watch for Heating Error Codes
If malfunctions persist, take a look inside your furnace’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Subject to the brand, the light may also be fixed on the surface of your heater.
If you see anything other than a solid, colored light or flickering green light, call us at 270-358-3167 for HVAC service. Your heating system may be emitting an error code that is calling for specialized assistance.
6. Scrub the Flame Sensor
If your furnace attempts to start but turns off without blowing warm air, a dirty flame sensor can be at fault. When this occurs, your heater will try to start three times before a safety feature powers it down for approximately an hour.
If you feel confident with taking the panels off your furnace, cleaning your flame sensor is something you are able to do yourself. Or, one of our heating service professionals is able to finish it for you.
If you are fine with cleaning the sensor personally, you require:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A dry, clean paper towel
- Disable the furnace’s power by using its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you will need to shut off the gas as well.
- Take off the heating system’s front panel and follow the wire to the flame sensor.
- Unscrew the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to carefully scrub the metal rod.
- Clean the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Switch the furnace’s power back on. It could go through a sequence of inspections before continuing usual heating. If your furnace doesn’t ignite, the sensor might require replacement or something else could be wrong. If this happens, contact us at 270-358-3167 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Reignite the Pilot Light
If you are using an aging heating system, the pilot light could be turned off. To reignite it, locate the directions on a sheet on your furnace, or use these recommendations.
- Locate the lever below your heating system that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Turn the switch to the “off” position.
- Wait at least five minutes to prevent sparking a fire.
- Turn the dial to “pilot.”
- Hold down the “reset” switch as you move the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Depress the “reset” switch once the pilot light is burning.
If you have tried the list twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or stay lit, get in touch with us at 270-358-3167 for furnace service.
Inspect Your Fuel Source
Try switching on another gas appliance. If it doesn’t function, your natural gas source could be switched off, or you might have run out of propane.