Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Inspect the Thermostat
To begin, make sure your thermostat is telling your furnace to turn on.
- Swap out the batteries if the monitor is empty. If the digital monitor is jumbled, the thermostat could need to be changed.
- Make certain that the control is on “heat” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is showing the appropriate day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having problems turning off the schedule, adjust the temperature by utilizing the up/down arrows and holding the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to ignite if thermostat is causing a problem.
- Turn the temperature setting to 5 degrees hotter than the room temperature.
If your heat hasn’t turned on within several minutes, make certain that it has electricity by switching the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your heating system might not have power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—like one manufactured by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will be determined by the model you have. Check the manufacturer’s website for assistance. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to operate, call us at 815-410-1231 for heating and cooling service.
2. Check Breakers and Switches
Next, check if your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Find your main electrical panel. If you have no idea where it is, search for a silver metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make certain that your hands and feet are dry in advance of touching the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker labeled “furnace” or “heat,” and double-check it’s moved to “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
- With one hand, quickly switch the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker trips right away and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and call an expert from PWA Heating & Cooling Inc at 815-410-1231 quickly.
Regardless of your furnace’s age or brand, it has at least one regular wall switch placed on or by it.
- Ensure the lever is facing up in the “on” spot. If it was turned off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to start. (If you’re unaware of where your furnace is located, look in your basement, garage or utility closet. It could also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Buy a New Air Filter
When we consider heating issues, a grungy, blocked air filter is frequently the top culprit.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your heater won’t stay on, or it may get too hot from reduced airflow.
- Your energy costs could be higher because your heat is running too often.
- Your heater may fail too soon due to the fact a dusty filter triggers it to work overtime.
- Your heater can lose power if an excessively dirty filter causes the breaker to trip.
Depending on what make of heater you have, your air filter is located inside the blower compartment of your heating system, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To put in a new filter:
- Cut the power to your heating system.
- Pull out the filter and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t notice light through it, get a new one.
- Put in the new filter with the arrow motioning toward the heating system to keep damage from happening.
Flat filters need to be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you may have to put in a new filter more frequently.
To make changing your filter go more quickly down the line, use a permanent writing tool on your heater outside or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Check the Condensate Pan
Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans capture water your furnace pulls from the air.
If liquid is leaking from within your furnace or its pan is overflowing, follow these recommendations.
- If your pan includes a drain (look for a PVC pipe), make sure that it’s clear. If it should be drained, get a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware retailers.
- If your pan contains a pump, inspect the float switch. If the button is jammed “up” with water in the pan, call us at 815-410-1231, because you will likely have to install a new pump.
5. Watch for Heater Error Codes
If failures continue, peek within your heater’s plastic window to check the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the type, the light may also be mounted on the exterior of your heater.
If you notice anything other than a solid, colored light or flickering green light, contact us at 815-410-1231 for HVAC service. Your heating system may be giving an error code that is calling for pro assistance.
6. Brush off the Flame Sensor
If your heating system makes an effort to start but turns off without putting out warm air, a filthy flame sensor might be at fault. When this occurs, your heating system will try to ignite three times before a safety mechanism shuts it down for approximately an hour.
If you feel okay with removing the panels from your heater, brushing off your flame sensor is something you can do yourself. Or, one of our heating service experts is able to finish it for you.
If you are fine with cleaning the sensor yourself, you require:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Section of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A dry, clean paper towel
- Turn off the furnace’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you have to shut off the gas in addition.
- Remove the furnace’s front panel and follow the wire to the flame sensor.
- Remove the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to carefully rub the metal rod.
- Wipe off the rod with a paper towel.
- Put the sensor back in.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Switch the furnace’s power back on. It may run through a series of examinations before continuing regular operation. If your heating system doesn’t start, the sensor may require replacement or something else could be wrong. If this takes place, contact us at 815-410-1231 for heating and cooling repair help.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you have an outdated heating system, the pilot light could be extinguished. To relight it, look for the guide on a sticker on your furnace, or try these steps.
- Find the toggle beneath your furnace marked “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Turn the switch to the “off” position.
- Take a break for at least five minutes to avoid sparking a fire.
- Push the dial to “pilot.”
- Hold down the “reset” switch as you move the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Release the “reset” lever once the pilot light is burning.
If you have tried the instructions twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or remain burning, contact us at 815-410-1231 for furnace service.
Examine Your Energy Source
Try turning on a second gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas service might be shut off, or you might have run out of propane.