Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Look at the Thermostat
First, make certain that your thermostat is instructing your heater to ignite.
- Swap out the batteries if the screen is empty. If the digital screen is mixed up, the thermostat may need to be swapped out.
- Ensure the control is switched to “heat” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
- Ensure the program is set to the appropriate day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having problems turning off the program, set the temperature by using the up/down arrows and holding the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to turn on if thermostat is causing trouble.
- Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees above what the room temperature currently is.
If your heating hasn’t turned on within several minutes, make sure it has electricity by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t begin to run, your furnace might 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 assistance. If you’re still unable to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to operate, call us at 317-406-5783 for heating and cooling service.
2. Examine Breakers and Switches
Next, check if your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Find your main electrical panel. If you don’t know where it is, keep an eye out for a metallic metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet aren’t moist in advance of touching the panel or breakers.
- Find the breaker titled “furnace” or “heat,” and double-check it’s turned “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
- Using one hand, firmly turn the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker instantly trips and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and get in touch with a team member from Winters Heating and Cooling at 317-406-5783 right away.
It doesn’t matter how old your furnace is or what brand it is, it has at least one standard wall switch set on or by it.
- Make sure the switch is facing up in the “on” spot. If it was switched off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to turn on. (If you’re unsure where to find your furnace, check your basement, garage or utility closet. It may also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Replace the Air Filter
When it comes to furnace issues, a grungy, full air filter is regularly to blame.
If your filter is too grungy:
- Your furnace won’t stay on, or it might get too hot from limited airflow.
- Your energy bills may increase because your heater is running more often.
- Your heat might fail prematurely since a dusty filter triggers it to overwork.
- Your heating might lose power if an overly filthy filter results in a tripped breaker.
While it depends on what make of heating system you use, your air filter can be found within the blower compartment of your heating system, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To put in a new filter:
- Switch off your heater.
- Pull 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 motioning toward the furnace to prevent damage.
Flat filters should be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you might have to put in a new filter more frequently.
To make changing your filter smoother in the future, use a permanent marker on your heating system exterior or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Check the Condensate Pan
Commonly known as drain pans, condensate pans catch moisture your heater draws from the air.
If liquid is seeping from within your heater or its pan has too much water in it, use these guidelines.
- If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), make sure that it isn’t full. If it needs to be drained, use a special pan-cleaning tablet you can purchase at home improvement or hardware shops.
- If your pan contains a pump, check the float switch. If the lever can’t be moved from the “up” position with liquid in the pan, contact us at 317-406-5783, because you will possibly have to buy a new pump.
5. Look for Heating Error Codes
If failures keep on happening, look inside your furnace’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Depending on the type, the light might also be attached on the outside of your heater.
If you see anything except a solid, colored light or flickering green light, reach us at 317-406-5783 for HVAC service. Your heater could be communicating an error code that needs pro assistance.
6. Scrub the Flame Sensor
If your heating system tries to operate but shuts off without blowing warm air, a dusty flame sensor could be to blame. When this happens, your furnace will attempt to ignite three times before a safety feature shuts it down for approximately an hour.
If you feel okay with taking the panels off your heater, cleaning your flame sensor is a task you are able to do personally. Or, one of our heating service professionals can finish it for you.
If you want to clean the sensor on your own, 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 heater’s power with its wall switch or breaker. If your furnace’s gas valve isn’t electric, you will need to switch off the gas as well.
- Remove the furnace’s front panel and track the wire to the flame sensor.
- Take off the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to lightly clean the metal rod.
- Clean the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Replace the furnace doors.
- Switch the furnace’s power back on. It may go through a set of checks before proceeding with usual running. If your furnace doesn’t ignite, the sensor could require replacement or something else could be causing a problem. If this occurs, get in touch with us at 317-406-5783 for heating and cooling repair support.
7. Reignite the Pilot Light
If you have an older furnace, the pilot light could be out. To reignite it, look for the guide on a label on your heating system, or use these recommendations.
- Look for the switch below your heating system marked “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Turn the switch to the “off” position.
- Take a break for at least five minutes to limit the possibility for creating a fire.
- Push the dial to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” button as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Release the “reset” button once the pilot light is ignited.
If you have used the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or stay lit, contact us at 317-406-5783 for furnace service.
Check Your Energy Supply
Try using another gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas delivery could be turned off, or you may have run out of propane.