Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Look at the Thermostat
To start, make certain that your thermostat is telling your furnace to ignite.
- Swap out the batteries if the display is empty. If the digital screen is jumbled, the thermostat may need to be changed.
- Make sure the button is switched to “heat” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is displaying the correct day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having a hard time overriding the setting, adjust the temperature with the up/down arrows and holding the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to start if thermostat is causing an issue.
- Turn the temperature setting to 5 degrees hotter than what the room temperature currently is.
If your heating hasn’t kicked on within several minutes, make certain that it has juice by switching the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t operate, your furnace could be without power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—for example one manufactured 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 function, call us at 763-535-2000 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, search for a silver metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet aren’t moist before using the panel or breakers.
- Find the breaker titled “furnace” or “heat,” and double-check it’s reading “on.” If you find that the breaker tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
- With one hand, quickly flip the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker trips right away and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and call a team member from GV Heating & Air at 763-535-2000 immediately.
It doesn’t matter how old your furnace is or what brand it is, it has no less than one ordinary wall switch located on or close to it.
- Make certain the switch is facing up in the “on” position. If it was turned off, expect your furnace to take up to five minutes to ignite. (If you don’t know where your furnace is located, take a look at your basement, garage or utility closet. It may also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Get a New Air Filter
When we think about heater issues, a grungy, clogged air filter is often to blame.
If your filter is too dusty:
- Your heating system won’t be able to stay on, or it may overheat from restricted airflow.
- Your utility bills might increase because your furnace is operating more than it should.
- Your heater may stop working sooner than it should because a dirty filter forces it to work overtime.
- Your heating can be disconnected from power if an excessively dirty filter results in a tripped breaker.
While it depends on what type of heater you use, your air filter is located within the blower compartment of your heater, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Turn off your heating system.
- Remove the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t notice light through it, get a new one.
- Put in the new filter with the arrow facing toward the heater to keep damage from happening.
Flat filters need to be replaced monthly, 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 down the line, draw with a permanent pen on your furnace housing or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Check the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans catch water your furnace pulls from the air.
If moisture is leaking from your furnace or its pan has standing water in it, follow these recommendations.
- If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it’s clear. If it should be drained, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can get at home improvement or hardware shops.
- If your pan uses a pump, take a look at the float switch. If the switch can’t be moved from the “up” position with liquid in the pan, reach us at 763-535-2000, because you will likely have to get a new pump.
5. Check for Furnace Error Codes
If faults keep on happening, peek within your heating system’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Depending on the type, the light might also be fixed on the surface of your furnace.
If you see anything else besides a steady, colored light or flickering green light, reach us at 763-535-2000 for HVAC service. Your furnace could be giving an error code that needs expert assistance.
6. Brush off the Flame Sensor
If your heating system attempts to run but shuts off without blowing heat, a dusty flame sensor might be at fault. When this happens, your heating system will attempt to ignite three times before a safety device shuts it down for around an hour.
If you feel okay with taking the panels off your furnace, brushing off your flame sensor is work you can do yourself. Or, one of our heating service professionals can do it for you.
If you are fine with cleaning the sensor yourself, you need:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A dry, clean paper towel
- Disable the heater’s power with its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you have to switch off the gas in addition.
- Remove the heating system’s front panel and follow the wire to the flame sensor.
- Unscrew the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to lightly rub the metal rod.
- Clean the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Restore power to the furnace. It may proceed through a sequence of examinations before proceeding with normal operation. If your heater doesn’t start, the sensor might require replacement or something else might be creating an issue. If this happens, call us at 763-535-2000 for heating and cooling repair support.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you own an aging heating system, the pilot light could be extinguished. To light it, find the guide on a sheet on your furnace, or follow these guidelines.
- Look for the toggle below your heater labeled “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Push the switch to the “off” position.
- Take a break for at least five minutes to prevent starting a fire.
- Move the dial to “pilot.”
- Press the “reset” lever as you bring the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Release the “reset” switch once the pilot light is burning.
If you have tried the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t light or remain lit, get in touch with us at 763-535-2000 for furnace service.
Double-Check Your Gas Supply
Try switching on an additional gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas delivery may be shut off, or you may have run out of propane.