Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Inspect the Thermostat
First, make certain that your thermostat is instructing your furnace to start.
- Swap out the batteries if the monitor is empty. If the digital display is scrambled, the thermostat might need to be replaced.
- Make sure the button is switched to “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
- Ensure the program is showing the right day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having a hard time overriding the program, regulate the temperature by using the up/down arrows and using the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to start if thermostat is causing a problem.
- Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees hotter than what the room temperature currently is.
If your furnace hasn’t turned on within a few minutes, make sure it has juice by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your heating system may not have power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—like one designed by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will depend on your model. Take a look at the manufacturer’s website for support. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to operate, call us at 281-231-8768 for heating and cooling service.
2. Check Breakers and Switches
Next, confirm your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Find 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 aren’t moist in advance of opening the panel or breakers.
- Look for the breaker marked “furnace” or “heat,” and double-check it’s switched “on.” If the breaker has tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” area.
- Using one hand, quickly turn the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker trips right away and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and get in touch with a team member from JTech Mechanical at 281-231-8768 immediately.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has at least one regular wall switch installed on or close to it.
- Make certain the lever is flipped up in the “on” position. If it was turned off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to ignite. (If you’re unaware of where to locate your furnace, look in 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 heater problems, a filthy, full air filter is frequently to blame.
If your filter is too dusty:
- Your heater won’t stay on, or it could overheat from restricted airflow.
- Your heating costs may increase because your heating system is working too often.
- Your heat might stop working too soon since a dirty filter triggers it to work harder.
- Your heating system may be cut off from power if an extremely clogged filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.
While it depends on what model of heating system you use, your air filter will be in the interior of the blower compartment of your heater, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To swap out your filter:
- Switch off your heater.
- Take out the filter and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, get a new one.
- Install the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the furnace to keep damage from happening.
Flat filters need to be replaced every 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 the process smoother down the road, draw with a permanent marker on your heater outside or ductwork to show the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Look at the Condensate Pan
Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans catch water your heater pulls from the air.
If liquid is leaking from your furnace or its pan is overflowing, use these guidelines.
- If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), make sure that it’s clear. If it requires draining, get a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware retailers.
- If your pan has a pump, take a look at the float switch. If the lever can’t be moved from the “up” position with water in the pan, contact us at 281-231-8768, because you will possibly have to buy a new pump.
5. Watch for Heater Error Codes
If failures continue, peek at your heating system’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the brand, the light may also be attached on the outside of your furnace.
If you see anything else besides an uninterrupted, colored light or twinkling green light, call us at 281-231-8768 for HVAC service. Your furnace may be communicating an error code that is calling for specialized service.
6. Scrub the Flame Sensor
If your heater makes an effort to work but switches off without distributing heated air, a dirty flame sensor can be to blame. When this happens, your heating system will attempt to start three times before a safety feature turns it off for about an hour.
If you feel confident with opening up your heating system, cleaning your flame sensor is work you are able to do yourself. Or, one of our heating service professionals has the ability to do it for you.
If you are fine with cleaning 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
- A dry, clean paper towel
- Turn off the heating system’s power by using its wall switch or breaker. If your furnace’s gas valve isn’t electric, you must shut off the gas along with it.
- Take 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 carefully scrub the metal rod.
- Clear the rod with a paper towel.
- Put the sensor back in.
- Secure the furnace doors.
- Restore power to the furnace. It may go through a sequence of examinations before continuing regular operation. If your furnace doesn’t ignite, the sensor may have to be replaced or something else could be causing a problem. If this takes place, get in touch with us at 281-231-8768 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Reignite the Pilot Light
If you are using an older heater, the pilot light could be out. To reignite it, locate the instructions on a sticker on your heating system, or use these guidelines.
- Find the lever below your heater labeled “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Push the switch to the “off” position.
- Wait at least five minutes to limit the possibility for sparking a fire.
- Move the knob to “pilot.”
- Press the “reset” switch as you bring the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Let go of the “reset” lever once the pilot light is ignited.
If you have gone through the list twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or stay lit, call us at 281-231-8768 for furnace service.
Check Your Fuel Delivery System
Try turning on a second gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas delivery could be shut off, or you could be out of propane.