Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Inspect the Thermostat
First, ensure your thermostat is signaling your heat to start.
- Change the batteries if the monitor is not displaying anything. If the digital monitor is mixed up, the thermostat may need to be changed.
- Make sure the button is on “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Ensure the program is set to the correct day and time and is programmed to “run.” If you’re having problems overriding the schedule, set the temperature with the up/down arrows and holding the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to turn on if thermostat is causing an issue.
- Turn the temperature setting to 5 degrees above the room temperature.
If your heat hasn’t started within several minutes, make certain that it has juice by switching the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t begin to run, your heating system could be without power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—like one manufactured by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will depend on your model. Take a look at the manufacturer’s website for assistance. If you’re still unable to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to work, call us at 605-206-3915 for heating and cooling service.
2. Examine Breakers and Switches
Next, check if your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Look for your main electrical panel. If you have no idea where it is, look for a silver metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet are dry before touching the panel or breakers.
- Look for the breaker marked “furnace” or “heat,” and double-check it’s switched “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” spot.
- Using one hand, firmly flip 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 professional from Street Heating and Cooling at 605-206-3915 quickly.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has at least one standard wall switch positioned on or near it.
- Ensure the lever is facing up in the “on” position. If it was switched off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to start. (If you’re unsure where to find 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 consider furnace breakdowns, a grungy, blocked air filter is often to blame.
If your filter is too grungy:
- Your heater won’t keep heating your home, or it could overheat from restricted airflow.
- Your energy expenses could be higher because your heat is operating more often.
- Your furnace might break down sooner than it should because a filthy filter causes it to overwork.
- Your heater might lose power if an excessively clogged filter causes the breaker to trip.
Based on what model of heating system you have, your air filter is located within the blower compartment of your heater, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Turn off your furnace.
- Remove the filter and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t view light through it, use a new one.
- Insert the new filter with the arrow facing toward the furnace to prevent damage.
Flat filters ought to be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you might have to change your filter more frequently.
To make the procedure easier in the future, write with a permanent writing tool on your furnace housing or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Check the Condensate Pan
Commonly known as drain pans, condensate pans catch moisture your furnace removes from the air.
If water is seeping out of your heating system or its pan has too much water in it, try these guidelines.
- If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), check that it isn’t full. If it requires draining, use a special pan-cleaning tablet you can get at home improvement or hardware stores.
- If your pan uses a pump, take a look at the float switch. If the switch can’t be moved from the “up” position with water in the pan, call us at 605-206-3915, because you will possibly have to install a new pump.
5. Look for Heater Error Codes
If malfunctions continue, peek within your furnace’s plastic window to check the blower motor’s status. Depending on the type, the light might also be attached on the surface of your furnace.
If you see anything other than a solid, colored light or flickering green light, reach us at 605-206-3915 for HVAC service. Your furnace may be giving an error code that is calling for specialized help.
6. Clean the Flame Sensor
If your heater tries to work but shuts off without distributing warmth, a dusty flame sensor might be responsible. When this takes place, your furnace will attempt to start three times before a safety mechanism powers it down for around an hour.
If you feel comfortable with opening up your furnace, brushing off your flame sensor is a job you can do personally. Or, one of our heating service specialists has the ability to complete it for you.
If you are fine with cleaning the sensor personally, you require:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Bit of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A dry, clean paper towel
- Shut off the furnace’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you have to turn off the gas along with it.
- Take off the heating system’s front panel and trace 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.
- Clear the rod with a paper towel.
- Put the sensor back in.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Restore power to the furnace. It may proceed through a sequence of tests before continuing usual running. If your heating system doesn’t ignite, the sensor could need to be replaced or something else might be wrong. If this happens, contact us at 605-206-3915 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you own an older heating system, the pilot light could be out. To relight it, locate the directions on a sticker on your heating system, or try these steps.
- Locate the switch on the bottom of your heating system that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Turn the switch to the “off” position.
- Take a break for at least five minutes to prevent creating a fire.
- Turn the switch to “pilot.”
- Hold down the “reset” button as you bring the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Let go of the “reset” button once the pilot light is lit.
If you have followed the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t light or keep ignited, contact us at 605-206-3915 for furnace service.
Inspect Your Gas Source
Try switching on a second gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas service might be turned off, or you may have run out of propane.