Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Check the Thermostat
First, make sure your thermostat is telling your furnace to start.
- Replace the batteries if the display is blank. If the digital monitor is messed up, the thermostat could need to be changed.
- Make sure the switch is switched to “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is displaying the correct day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having trouble overriding the program, adjust the temperature by utilizing the up/down arrows and pressing the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to turn on if thermostat is causing an issue.
- Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees above the room temperature.
If your heater hasn’t kicked on within a few minutes, ensure it has juice by moving the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t operate, your heating system might not have power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—like one manufactured by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will depend on your model. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for support. If you’re still unable to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, contact us at 717-383-4479 for heating and cooling service.
2. Examine Breakers and Switches
Next, confirm your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Find your main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure where it is, keep an eye out for a metallic metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet are dry before opening the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker marked “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.
- Using one hand, firmly flip the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker instantly trips and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and contact an expert from Strine's Heating & Air Conditioning at 717-383-4479 quickly.
Regardless of your furnace’s age or brand, it has at least one ordinary wall switch placed on or near it.
- Make certain the control is facing up in the “on” spot. If it was switched off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to turn on. (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. Get a New Air Filter
When it comes to furnace breakdowns, a grungy, blocked air filter is regularly to blame.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your furnace won’t stay on, or it could get too hot from reduced airflow.
- Your utility bills might increase because your heat is running more often.
- Your heat may stop working sooner than it should due to the fact a filthy filter triggers it to overwork.
- Your furnace can be cut off from power if an overly dirty filter results in a tripped breaker.
While it depends on what type of heating system you own, your air filter can be found inside the blower compartment of your heater, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To put in a new filter:
- Cut the power to your heater.
- Take out the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light through it, use a new one.
- Insert the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the heating system 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 put in a new filter more frequently.
To make the process easier in the future, use a permanent pen on your heating system exterior or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Check the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans hold moisture your heater removes from the air.
If moisture is dripping from your heating system or its pan has too much water in it, follow these recommendations.
- If your pan includes a drain (look for a PVC pipe), check that it isn’t clogged. If it requires draining, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware stores.
- If your pan uses a pump, take a look at the float switch. If the lever can’t be moved from the “up” position with standing water in the pan, contact us at 717-383-4479, because you will possibly need a new pump.
5. Check for Furnace Error Codes
If failures continue, peek inside your furnace’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the model, the light could also be fixed on the outside of your heater.
If you notice anything except a solid, colored light or flickering green light, call us at 717-383-4479 for HVAC service. Your furnace could be giving an error code that is calling for specialized assistance.
6. Scrub the Flame Sensor
If your heater attempts to work but switches off without blowing warm air, a dusty flame sensor can be to blame. When this occurs, your furnace will make an attempt to ignite three times before a safety mechanism shuts it down for around an hour.
If you feel confident with taking the panels off your heater, cleaning your flame sensor is work you are able to do on your own. Or, one of our heating service specialists can do it for you.
If you are confident cleaning the sensor on your own, you need:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Section of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- An unused paper towel
- Disable the furnace’s power with its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you will need to turn off the gas in addition.
- Take off the furnace’s front panel and follow the wire to the flame sensor.
- Remove the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to gently clean the metal rod.
- Clear the rod with a paper towel.
- Remount the sensor.
- Secure the furnace doors.
- Switch the furnace’s power back on. It may go through a series of tests before continuing normal operation. If your furnace doesn’t turn on, the sensor could require replacement or something else could be wrong. If this occurs, call us at 717-383-4479 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you have an older heating system, the pilot light could be extinguished. To reignite it, look for the instructions on a sheet on your heater, or follow these guidelines.
- Look for the lever on the bottom of your heater labeled “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Push the switch to the “off” position.
- Don’t do anything for at least five minutes to avoid creating a fire.
- Move the knob to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” button as you push 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 gone through the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or stay burning, call us at 717-383-4479 for furnace service.
Examine Your Fuel Supply
Try switching on another gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas service could be shut off, or you could be out of propane.