Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Inspect the Thermostat
First, ensure your thermostat is instructing your heater to turn on.
- Replace the batteries if the display is empty. If the digital display is scrambled, the thermostat could need to be swapped out.
- Make sure the button is on “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
- Make sure the program is showing the appropriate day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having trouble overriding the setting, 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 an issue.
- Turn the temperature setting to 5 degrees above what the room temperature currently is.
If your heater hasn’t turned on within a couple minutes, ensure it has electricity by moving the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t begin to run, your heater could be without power.
If you have a smart thermostat—for example one designed by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will be determined by the model you have. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for help. If you’re still unable to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, call us at 847-306-8990 for heating and cooling service.
2. Inspect Breakers and Switches
Next, verify 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 gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make certain that your hands and feet aren’t wet in advance of using the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker labeled “furnace” or “heat,” and double-check it’s moved to “on.” If you find that the breaker tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” spot.
- Using 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 get in touch with an expert from Assured Appliance and Heating & Air at 847-306-8990 right away.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has at least one regular wall switch set on or near it.
- Make sure the control is flipped up in the “on” spot. If it was switched off, expect your furnace to take up to five minutes to start. (If you don’t know where to find your furnace, check 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 furnace issues, a grungy, full air filter is often the top culprit.
If your filter is too dusty:
- Your furnace won’t be able to stay on, or it may get too hot from restricted airflow.
- Your energy costs might go up because your heating system is running too often.
- Your heat could break down prematurely because a dirty filter causes it to work harder.
- Your heating can be disconnected from power if an extremely dirty filter results in a tripped breaker.
Depending on what make of furnace you use, your air filter is located inside the blower compartment of your heating system, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Switch off your furnace.
- Take out the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t view light through it, use a new one.
- Install the new filter with the arrow facing toward the furnace to prevent damage.
Flat filters should be replaced every 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 the process go more quickly in the future, draw with a permanent marker on your heating system exterior or ductwork to show the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Check the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans catch water your furnace removes from the air.
If moisture is leaking from within your heating system or its pan has standing water in it, follow these guidelines.
- If your pan includes a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it’s clear. If it requires draining, use a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware shops.
- If your pan contains a pump, check the float switch. If the button is jammed “up” with standing water in the pan, reach us at 847-306-8990, because you will probably have to get a new pump.
5. Look for Furnace Error Codes
If malfunctions keep on happening, peek at your heater’s plastic window to check the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the type, the light may also be fixed on the outside of your heater.
If you note anything other than a solid, colored light or twinkling green light, reach us at 847-306-8990 for HVAC service. Your heater might be giving an error code that is calling for professional assistance.
6. Clean the Flame Sensor
If your furnace tries to start but turns off without blowing heat, a grimy flame sensor could be responsible. When this occurs, your heating system will make an attempt to ignite three times before a safety mechanism shuts it down for approximately an hour.
If you feel confident with taking the panels off your furnace, cleaning your flame sensor is a job you are able to do on your own. Or, one of our heating service specialists can do it for you.
If you are confident cleaning the sensor yourself, 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 heater’s power by using its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you will need to turn off the gas in addition.
- Remove the furnace’s front panel and track the wire to the flame sensor.
- Remove the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to lightly rub the metal rod.
- Clean the rod with a paper towel.
- Put the sensor back in.
- Replace the furnace doors.
- Turn the furnace’s power back on. It could go through a sequence of tests before continuing normal running. If your furnace doesn’t turn on, the sensor might require replacement or something else could be creating an issue. If this takes place, get in touch with us at 847-306-8990 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Reignite the Pilot Light
If you have an aging heater, the pilot light could be extinguished. To light it, find the steps on a sheet on your heater, or use these steps.
- Locate the switch on the bottom of your heater labeled “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Turn the switch to the “off” position.
- Wait at least five minutes to avoid creating a fire.
- Turn the knob to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” switch 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 used the list twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or stay burning, call us at 847-306-8990 for furnace service.
Examine Your Fuel Supply
Try switching on an additional gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas delivery could be turned off, or you may have run out of propane.