Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Examine the Thermostat
First, make certain that your thermostat is instructing your furnace to turn on.
- Swap out the batteries if the screen is not displaying anything. If the digital screen is scrambled, the thermostat might need to be swapped out.
- Make sure the switch is switched to “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is showing the appropriate day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having trouble turning off the program, adjust 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 trouble.
- Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees above the room temperature.
If your heating hasn’t started within several minutes, make sure it has juice by changing the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your furnace may not have power.
If you have a smart thermostat—for example one designed by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will depend on your model. Check the manufacturer’s website for help. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, reach us at 614-871-4144 for heating and cooling service.
2. Check 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 titled “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s switched “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
- Moving 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 call an expert from Air Quality Solutions at 614-871-4144 immediately.
It doesn’t matter how old your furnace is or what brand it is, it has no less than one ordinary wall switch placed on or near it.
- Ensure the switch is flipped up in the “on” spot. If it was switched off, anticipate your furnace could take up to five minutes to ignite. (If you’re unaware of where to locate your furnace, take a look at your basement, garage or utility closet. It could also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Put in a New Air Filter
When we think about furnace problems, a dirty, full air filter is frequently the top culprit.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your heating system won’t stay on, or it could overheat from limited airflow.
- Your energy costs might increase because your heater is operating too often.
- Your heating system may break down too soon because a dirty filter triggers it to work harder.
- Your heating may lose power if an extremely filthy filter causes the breaker to trip.
Depending on what model of heating system you use, your air filter is located inside the blower compartment of your furnace, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Cut the power to your heater.
- Take out the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light through it, get a new one.
- Insert the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the heater to keep damage from happening.
Flat filters should be replaced once a month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you could have to replace your filter more frequently.
To make changing your filter smoother in the future, use a permanent pen on your heater exterior or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Check the Condensate Pan
Commonly known as drain pans, condensate pans hold water your heating system draws from the air.
If liquid is dripping out of your furnace or its pan has standing water in it, follow these recommendations.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), check that it isn’t clogged. If it should be drained, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can purchase at home improvement or hardware retailers.
- If your pan uses a pump, inspect the float switch. If the button is stuck “up” with water in the pan, reach us at 614-871-4144, because you will probably need a new pump.
5. Check for Heater Error Codes
If failures continue, take a look inside your heater’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the type, the light might also be mounted on the surface of your furnace.
If you note anything other than a steady, colored light or blinking green light, reach us at 614-871-4144 for HVAC service. Your heater may be giving an error code that is calling for expert assistance.
6. Scrub the Flame Sensor
If your furnace tries to run but turns off without putting out heat, a grimy flame sensor might be to blame. When this takes place, your heater will try to ignite three times before a safety mechanism shuts it down for approximately an hour.
If you feel confident with removing the panels from your heater, gently scrubbing your flame sensor is work you can do yourself. Or, one of our heating service specialists can complete it for you.
If you want to clean the sensor on your own, you should have:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Bit of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- An unused paper towel
- Shut off the furnace’s power by using its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you must switch off the gas in addition.
- Lift off the furnace’s front panel and trace the wire to the flame sensor.
- Remove the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to lightly scrub the metal rod.
- Clear 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 proceed through a set of tests before proceeding with usual running. If your heating system doesn’t turn on, the sensor might have to be replaced or something else may be wrong. If this occurs, call us at 614-871-4144 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you have an outdated furnace, the pilot light could be turned off. To relight it, locate the instructions on a label on your heater, or use these steps.
- Find the switch below your heating system marked “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Move the switch to the “off” position.
- Take a break for at least five minutes to prevent starting a fire.
- Move the switch to “pilot.”
- Hold down the “reset” switch as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Depress the “reset” button once the pilot light is burning.
If you have followed the list twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or remain ignited, get in touch with us at 614-871-4144 for furnace service.
Check Your Energy Source
Try turning on a second gas appliance. If it doesn’t function, your natural gas delivery could be switched off, or you may have run out of propane.