Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Inspect the Thermostat
To begin, ensure your thermostat is signaling your heater to ignite.
- Swap out the batteries if the monitor is empty. If the digital monitor is jumbled, the thermostat may need to be replaced.
- Make sure the button is switched to “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is displaying the correct day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having problems getting out of the program, regulate the temperature by using the up/down arrows and using the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to start if thermostat is causing an issue.
- Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees hotter than the room temperature.
If your heater hasn’t started within several minutes, make sure it has juice by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t operate, your heater might not have power.
If you use a smart thermostat—like one designed by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will be determined by the model you have. Check the manufacturer’s website for help. If you still can’t get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, reach us at 614-451-0846 for heating and cooling service.
2. Inspect Breakers and Switches
Next, verify your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Locate your main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure where it is, search for a silver metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet aren’t wet before touching the panel or breakers.
- Find the breaker labeled “furnace” or “heat,” and ensure it’s switched “on.” If the breaker has tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” area.
- Using one hand, steadily 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 contact a professional from Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling at 614-451-0846 quickly.
Regardless of your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one standard wall switch positioned on or by it.
- Make certain the switch is flipped up in the “on” spot. If it was turned off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to start. (If you’re unsure where your furnace is located, look in your basement, garage or utility closet. It might also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Buy a New Air Filter
When we consider heater breakdowns, a grungy, full air filter is frequently the top culprit.
If your filter is too grungy:
- Your furnace won’t stay on, or it may get too warm from reduced airflow.
- Your energy expenses may increase because your heat is turning on too often.
- Your heater might stop working prematurely since a dusty filter forces it to overwork.
- Your heating system may be cut off from power if an overly filthy filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.
Depending on what make of furnace you own, your air filter is located in the interior of the blower compartment of your heater, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To swap out your filter:
- Turn off your furnace.
- Remove the filter and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, get a new one.
- Put in the new filter with the arrow facing toward the heating system to avoid damage.
Flat filters ought to be replaced every month, 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 in the future, draw with a permanent writing tool on your furnace outside or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Check the Condensate Pan
Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans catch water your furnace pulls from the air.
If water is dripping from within your heating system or its pan is overflowing, use these recommendations.
- If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it isn’t clogged. If it requires draining, get a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware stores.
- If your pan contains a pump, inspect the float switch. If the button can’t be moved from the “up” position with water in the pan, contact us at 614-451-0846, because you will probably have to install a new pump.
5. Check for Heating Error Codes
If malfunctions persist, peek at your furnace’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the brand, the light may also be mounted on the exterior of your heating system.
If you note anything except a steady, colored light or blinking green light, call us at 614-451-0846 for HVAC service. Your heating system may be giving an error code that needs pro assistance.
6. Brush off the Flame Sensor
If your heating system tries to run but switches off without putting out warmth, a dirty flame sensor could be responsible. When this takes place, your heating system will make an attempt to turn on three times before a safety mechanism powers it down for about an hour.
If you feel okay with opening up your heating system, gently scrubbing your flame sensor is something you are able to do on your own. Or, one of our heating service professionals has the ability to finish it for you.
If you are fine with cleaning the sensor personally, you should have:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Bit of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- An unused paper towel
- Turn off the heating system’s power with its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you will need to turn off the gas in addition.
- Lift off 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 gently rub the metal rod.
- Clean the rod with a paper towel.
- Remount the sensor.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Restore power to the furnace. It might go through a set of examinations before continuing regular operation. If your heating system doesn’t ignite, the sensor may require replacement or something else might be creating an issue. If this takes place, contact us at 614-451-0846 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you are using an aging heater, the pilot light could be turned off. To light it, look for the guide on a label on your furnace, or use these steps.
- Look for the lever below your heater that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Move the switch to the “off” position.
- Don’t do anything for at least five minutes to limit the possibility for creating a fire.
- Move the switch 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” button once the pilot light is ignited.
If you have used the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or keep ignited, contact us at 614-451-0846 for furnace service.
Check Your Energy Supply
Try turning on an additional gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas service might be turned off, or you might have run out of propane.