Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Check the Thermostat
To start, ensure your thermostat is telling your furnace to turn on.
- Swap out the batteries if the display is blank. If the digital display is mixed up, the thermostat may need to be replaced.
- Ensure the control is on “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Make sure the program is showing the appropriate day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having a hard time getting out of the setting, set the temperature by using the up/down arrows and holding the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to start if thermostat is causing trouble.
- Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees above what the room temperature currently is.
If your heater hasn’t started within a couple minutes, ensure it has electricity by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t begin to run, your heating system could be without power.
If you use a smart thermostat—such as one made by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will depend on your model. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for help. If you’re still unable to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, contact us at 410-228-4822 for heating and cooling service.
2. Inspect Breakers and Switches
Next, confirm 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 gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet aren’t wet before using the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker labeled “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s turned “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” area.
- Moving 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 call a professional from Pliescott HVAC Services LLC at 410-228-4822 immediately.
Regardless of your furnace’s age or brand, it has no less than one ordinary wall switch situated on or by it.
- Make certain the lever is moved up in the “on” spot. If it was shut off, expect your furnace to take up to five minutes to start. (If you’re unsure where to locate your furnace, take a look at your basement, garage or utility closet. It could also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Put in a New Air Filter
When we consider heating problems, a filthy, blocked air filter is frequently to blame.
If your filter is too dusty:
- Your furnace won’t be able to stay on, or it may get too warm from reduced airflow.
- Your energy bills might be higher because your furnace is turning on too often.
- Your heat may fail sooner than it should due to the fact a dirty filter forces it to work overtime.
- Your heater can be cut off from power if an excessively dirty filter results in a tripped breaker.
Based on what type of furnace you own, your air filter can be found within the blower compartment of your heater, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To swap out your filter:
- Cut the power to your heater.
- Pull out the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light through it, get a new one.
- Install the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the heater to avoid damage.
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 sooner.
To make the procedure smoother in the future, draw with a permanent writing tool on your heating system housing or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Examine the Condensate Pan
Commonly known as drain pans, condensate pans hold liquid your heating system draws from the air.
If water is leaking from within your furnace or its pan has too much water in it, use these recommendations.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it’s clear. If it requires draining, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can purchase at home improvement or hardware retailers.
- 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, reach us at 410-228-4822, because you will possibly need a new pump.
5. Check for Heating Error Codes
If malfunctions keep on happening, peek within your heater’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Depending on the brand, the light might also be fixed on the exterior of your heating system.
If you notice anything else besides a solid, colored light or flickering green light, call us at 410-228-4822 for HVAC service. Your heating system might be communicating an error code that needs specialized help.
6. Clean the Flame Sensor
If your furnace attempts to start but switches off without distributing heated air, a dirty flame sensor might be to blame. When this happens, your heater will attempt to turn on three times before a safety feature powers it down for approximately an hour.
If you feel comfortable with taking the panels off your furnace, cleaning your flame sensor is work you have the ability 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
- Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A fresh paper towel
- Turn off the furnace’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If your furnace’s gas valve isn’t electric, you have to turn off the gas along with it.
- Take off the heating system’s front panel and follow the wire to the flame sensor.
- Remove the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to lightly scrub the metal rod.
- Wipe off the rod with a paper towel.
- Remount the sensor.
- Secure the furnace doors.
- Switch the furnace’s power back on. It may proceed through a series of checks before continuing normal running. If your heating system doesn’t start, the sensor may need to be replaced or something else could be creating an issue. If this occurs, contact us at 410-228-4822 for heating and cooling repair help.
7. Reignite the Pilot Light
If you are using an outdated heater, the pilot light could be out. To reignite it, locate the directions on a sticker on your furnace, or use these recommendations.
- Find the toggle below your furnace that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Turn the switch to the “off” position.
- Wait at least five minutes to avoid creating a fire.
- Push the switch to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” lever as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Let go of the “reset” lever once the pilot light is burning.
If you have gone through the instructions twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or keep lit, contact us at 410-228-4822 for furnace service.
Examine Your Energy Delivery System
Try switching on another gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas service might be shut off, or you could be out of propane.