Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Inspect the Thermostat
To start, ensure your thermostat is instructing your heater to turn on.
- Change the batteries if the display is blank. If the digital display is mixed up, the thermostat may need to be swapped out.
- Ensure the button is switched to “heat” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is displaying the appropriate day and time and is programmed to “run.” If you’re having a hard time turning off the schedule, regulate the temperature by using the up/down arrows and using the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to turn on if thermostat is causing trouble.
- Turn the temperature setting to 5 degrees hotter than the room temperature.
If your heat hasn’t started within a couple minutes, ensure it has electricity by moving the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t operate, your heater may not have power.
If you have a smart thermostat—for example one manufactured by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will depend on your model. Take a look at the manufacturer’s website for assistance. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, call us at 308-832-4321 for heating and cooling service.
2. Check Breakers and Switches
Next, confirm your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Look for your main electrical panel. If you don’t know where it is, look for a silver metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet aren’t moist in advance of opening the panel or breakers.
- Find the breaker marked “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” area.
- With one hand, quickly flip the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker instantly trips and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and get in touch with a professional from MPC Heating & Cooling at 308-832-4321 quickly.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has no less than one regular wall switch installed on or close to it.
- Make sure 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 locate 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 think about furnace issues, a filthy, clogged air filter is often to blame.
If your filter is too dusty:
- Your furnace won’t stay on, or it may get too hot from restricted airflow.
- Your heating costs may increase because your furnace is operating too often.
- Your heat could fail too soon due to the fact a filthy filter forces it to work overtime.
- Your heater can be cut off from power if an overly dirty filter causes the breaker to trip.
Depending on what make of heating system you have, your air filter will be 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.
- Pull out the filter and angle it toward the light. If you can’t notice light through it, use a new one.
- Install the new filter with the arrow facing toward the heating system to keep damage from happening.
Flat filters ought to be replaced every month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you might have to put in a new filter more often.
To make changing your filter easier in the future, draw with a permanent pen on your heating system exterior or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Inspect the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans hold moisture your furnace pulls from the air.
If moisture is dripping from within your furnace or its pan is overflowing, try these recommendations.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it isn’t clogged. If it requires draining, use a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware stores.
- If your pan has a pump, inspect the float switch. If the switch can’t be moved from the “up” position with water in the pan, call us at 308-832-4321, because you will probably have to install a new pump.
5. Watch for Heater Error Codes
If malfunctions persist, peek inside your heating system’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Depending on the model, the light could also be mounted on the exterior of your heater.
If you see anything other than an uninterrupted, colored light or blinking green light, call us at 308-832-4321 for HVAC service. Your heating system may be emitting an error code that needs pro service.
6. Clean the Flame Sensor
If your heating system attempts to work but switches off without blowing warmth, a dusty flame sensor could be to blame. When this occurs, your furnace will attempt to ignite three times before a safety mechanism shuts it down for approximately an hour.
If you feel confident with opening up your heater, gently scrubbing your flame sensor is work you can do on your own. Or, one of our heating service experts is able to complete it for you.
If you want to clean the sensor yourself, you require:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Piece of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A fresh paper towel
- Turn off the heater’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you will need to shut off the gas in addition.
- Take off the heater’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 clean the metal rod.
- Clean the rod with a paper towel.
- Put the sensor back in.
- Replace the furnace doors.
- Restore power to the furnace. It could go through a series of checks before continuing normal heating. If your furnace doesn’t ignite, the sensor could have to be replaced or something else could be causing a problem. If this takes place, get in touch with us at 308-832-4321 for heating and cooling repair help.
7. Light the Pilot Light
If you have an older furnace, the pilot light could be out. To reignite it, find the directions on a label on your heating system, or follow these recommendations.
- Locate the lever beneath your heater labeled “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 starting a fire.
- Push the switch to “pilot.”
- Hold down the “reset” switch as you bring the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Depress the “reset” switch once the pilot light is burning.
If you have followed the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t light or remain ignited, call us at 308-832-4321 for furnace service.
Double-Check Your Energy Supply
Try using an additional gas appliance. If it doesn’t function, your natural gas delivery may be turned off, or you could be out of propane.