Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Examine the Thermostat
First, make sure your thermostat is signaling your heat to turn on.
- Change the batteries if the display is blank. If the digital display is mixed up, the thermostat could need to be replaced.
- Make certain that the button is switched to “heat” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
- Ensure the program is displaying the appropriate day and time and is programmed to “run.” If you’re having trouble getting out of the setting, regulate the temperature with the up/down arrows and using the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to turn on if thermostat is causing trouble.
- Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than the temperature of the room.
If your heat hasn’t kicked on within a few minutes, ensure it has electricity by switching the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your heating system may not have power.
If you have a smart thermostat—like one designed by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will be determined by the model you have. Take a look at the manufacturer’s website for help. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to work, contact us at 717-220-4502 for heating and cooling service.
2. Check Breakers and Switches
Next, verify your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Locate your main electrical panel. If you have no idea where it is, keep an eye out for a silver metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make sure your hands and feet are dry in advance of opening the panel or breakers.
- Find the breaker marked “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s moved to “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 instantly trips and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and call a team member from H & H Service Company at 717-220-4502 quickly.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has at least one standard wall switch situated on or close to it.
- Make certain the control is facing up in the “on” spot. If it was turned off, expect your furnace to take up to five minutes to turn on. (If you’re unaware of where to find your furnace, take a look at your basement, garage or utility closet. It may also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Replace the Air Filter
When we think about furnace issues, a grungy, clogged air filter is often the top offender.
If your filter is too grungy:
- Your heat won’t stay on, or it might get too warm from restricted airflow.
- Your utility bills might go up because your furnace is running more than it should.
- Your heater could stop working prematurely since a dirty filter forces it to work harder.
- Your furnace might lose power if an extremely filthy filter results in a tripped breaker.
Based on what model of furnace you use, your air filter can be found in the interior of the blower compartment of your furnace, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To put in a new filter:
- Cut the power to your heater.
- Take out the filter and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t view light through it, replace it.
- Put in the new filter with the arrow facing toward the heating system to keep damage from happening.
Flat filters need to be replaced once a month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you might have to replace your filter more often.
To make changing your filter go more quickly in the future, write with a permanent marker on your furnace outside or ductwork to show the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Look at the Condensate Pan
Commonly known as drain pans, condensate pans capture liquid your heater removes from the air.
If water is dripping from your heating system or its pan has too much water in it, use these guidelines.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), check that it isn’t clogged. If it should be drained, get a special pan-cleaning tablet you can get at home improvement or hardware retailers.
- If your pan uses a pump, inspect the float switch. If the switch is stuck “up” with water in the pan, contact us at 717-220-4502, because you will probably have to buy a new pump.
5. Look for Furnace Error Codes
If faults persist, look within your furnace’s plastic window to check the blower motor’s status. Subject to the type, the light may also be fixed on the exterior of your heating system.
If you notice anything else besides a steady, colored light or blinking green light, call us at 717-220-4502 for HVAC service. Your heater could be giving an error code that is calling for expert help.
6. Brush off the Flame Sensor
If your furnace makes an effort to run but shuts off without putting out warm air, a dusty flame sensor can be responsible. When this takes place, your heater will make an attempt to turn on three times before a safety mechanism turns it off for around an hour.
If you feel confident with opening up your heating system, brushing off your flame sensor is a job you have the ability to do personally. Or, one of our heating service professionals can complete it for you.
If you are confident cleaning the sensor on your own, you should have:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A fresh paper towel
- Turn off the furnace’s power with its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you must switch off the gas in addition.
- Take off 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.
- Wipe off the rod with a paper towel.
- Remount the sensor.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Switch the furnace’s power back on. It could proceed through a sequence of inspections before proceeding with normal operation. If your furnace doesn’t start, the sensor might have to be replaced or something else may be causing a problem. If this happens, get in touch with us at 717-220-4502 for heating and cooling repair help.
7. Light the Pilot Light
If you own an outdated heating system, the pilot light could be turned off. To light it, look for the directions on a label on your heater, or follow these steps.
- Locate the lever on the bottom of your furnace marked “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Move the switch to the “off” position.
- Wait at least five minutes to prevent sparking a fire.
- Turn the dial to “pilot.”
- Hold down the “reset” switch as you move the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Let go of the “reset” switch once the pilot light is lit.
If you have tried the list twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or stay lit, contact us at 717-220-4502 for furnace service.
Check Your Gas Source
Try turning on a second gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas service might be shut off, or you might have run out of propane.