Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Inspect the Thermostat
First, make sure your thermostat is telling your heater to start.
- Swap out the batteries if the screen is blank. If the digital display is messed up, the thermostat may need to be replaced.
- Make certain that the switch is set to “heat” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is set to the correct day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having problems turning off the schedule, regulate the temperature by utilizing the up/down arrows and pressing the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to start if thermostat is causing trouble.
- Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than the room temperature.
If your heat hasn’t kicked on within a couple minutes, make sure it has electricity by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t begin to run, your heater may not have power.
If you use a smart thermostat—such as one designed by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting is very model-specific. 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 816-379-3918 for heating and cooling service.
2. Inspect Breakers and Switches
Next, check if your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Find your main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure where it is, look for a gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make sure your hands and feet are dry before touching the panel or breakers.
- Find the breaker marked “furnace” or “heat,” and ensure it’s turned “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
- Using one hand, quickly turn 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 Colvin's Heating and Cooling at 816-379-3918 quickly.
It doesn’t matter how old your furnace is or what brand it is, it has at minimum one standard wall switch installed 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 unaware of where to find your furnace, look in your basement, garage or utility closet. It can also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Replace the Air Filter
When we consider heater issues, a dirty, clogged air filter is often the top offender.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your heat won’t keep heating your home, or it might overheat from restricted airflow.
- Your energy bills might increase because your heating system is operating more than it should.
- Your heater could fail prematurely since a dirty filter causes it to work overtime.
- Your heating system may be disconnected from power if an overly clogged filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.
Depending on what type of heater you use, your air filter will be inside 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.
- Pull out the filter and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t notice light through it, replace it.
- Install the new filter with the arrow facing toward the heating system to prevent damage.
Flat filters need to be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you may have to change your filter more frequently.
To make the procedure smoother down the road, draw with a permanent pen on your heating system housing or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Examine the Condensate Pan
Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans hold water your furnace pulls from the air.
If moisture is leaking out of your furnace or its pan is overflowing, try these guidelines.
- If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), check that it’s clear. If it should be drained, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can purchase at home improvement or hardware shops.
- If your pan has a pump, take a look at the float switch. If the lever is jammed “up” with standing water in the pan, reach us at 816-379-3918, because you will possibly have to get a new pump.
5. Watch for Heater Error Codes
If failures persist, take a look inside your heater’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Subject to the brand, the light might also be fixed on the outside of your furnace.
If you note anything other than a solid, colored light or blinking green light, contact us at 816-379-3918 for HVAC service. Your heating system may be giving an error code that requires professional help.
6. Brush off the Flame Sensor
If your heater makes an effort to start but turns off without putting out heated air, a filthy flame sensor might be to blame. When this happens, your heating system will attempt to turn on three times before a safety feature powers it down for about an hour.
If you feel confident with opening up your furnace, brushing off your flame sensor is work you are able to do yourself. Or, one of our heating service experts has the ability to complete it for you.
If you are fine with cleaning the sensor on your own, you require:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A fresh paper towel
- Shut off the furnace’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you must turn off the gas in addition.
- Take off the heater’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 carefully rub the metal rod.
- Wipe off the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Secure the furnace doors.
- Turn the furnace’s power back on. It might run through a series of checks before proceeding with regular running. If your heating system doesn’t start, the sensor might require replacement or something else might be wrong. If this takes place, call us at 816-379-3918 for heating and cooling repair help.
7. Reignite the Pilot Light
If you own an outdated furnace, the pilot light could be out. To light it, look for the directions on a label on your heating system, or try these recommendations.
- Locate the toggle below your furnace labeled “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Move the switch to the “off” position.
- Don’t do anything for at least five minutes to avoid sparking a fire.
- Move the knob to “pilot.”
- Hold down the “reset” switch as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Release the “reset” switch once the pilot light is ignited.
If you have gone through the list twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or remain burning, call us at 816-379-3918 for furnace service.
Inspect Your Fuel Delivery System
Try switching on an additional gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas delivery may be switched off, or you may have run out of propane.