Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Check the Thermostat
To start, make certain that your thermostat is signaling your heater to ignite.
- Replace the batteries if the display is blank. If the digital screen is jumbled, the thermostat might need to be swapped out.
- Make sure the switch is set to “heat” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
- Make sure the program is showing the appropriate day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having problems getting out of the program, set 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.
- Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees hotter than what the room temperature currently is.
If your furnace hasn’t kicked on within several minutes, make sure it has juice by changing the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t operate, your heater may not have power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—for example one designed 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 support. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, contact us at 308-624-3485 for heating and cooling service.
2. Check Breakers and Switches
Next, check if your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Find your main electrical panel. If you don’t know where it is, search for a gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make sure your hands and feet aren’t moist before opening the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker titled “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s turned “on.” If the breaker has tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
- With one hand, firmly switch the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker immediately trips and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and get in touch with a team member from Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning at 308-624-3485 quickly.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one ordinary wall switch positioned on or near it.
- Make certain the lever is moved up in the “on” position. If it was turned off, expect your furnace to take up to five minutes to ignite. (If you’re unsure where your furnace is located, look in your basement, garage or utility closet. It can also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Replace the Air Filter
When it comes to heating issues, a dirty, blocked air filter is frequently to blame.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your furnace won’t be able to stay on, or it could overheat from restricted airflow.
- Your gas expenses could go up because your heater is running more often.
- Your heater might fail prematurely since a dusty filter triggers it to overwork.
- Your heating system might be cut off from power if an excessively dirty filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.
Depending on what make of heating system you own, your air filter is located in the interior of the blower compartment of your heating system, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To swap out your filter:
- Cut the power to your furnace.
- Pull out the filter and angle it toward the light. If you can’t notice light through it, replace it.
- Install the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the furnace to prevent damage.
Flat filters ought to be replaced once a month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you could have to put in a new filter more often.
To make the procedure go more quickly in the future, write with a permanent marker on your heater outside or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Inspect the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans capture moisture your heating system removes from the air.
If liquid 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 needs to be drained, get 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 is stuck “up” with water in the pan, reach us at 308-624-3485, because you will possibly need a new pump.
5. Look for Furnace Error Codes
If malfunctions continue, peek within your furnace’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the model, the light might also be mounted on the outside of your furnace.
If you notice anything else besides an uninterrupted, colored light or flickering green light, call us at 308-624-3485 for HVAC service. Your heater might be emitting an error code that needs specialized assistance.
6. Clean the Flame Sensor
If your furnace makes an effort to work but shuts off without blowing warm air, a dusty flame sensor could be responsible. When this occurs, your furnace will attempt to ignite three times before a safety mechanism powers it down for about an hour.
If you feel comfortable with removing the panels from your heating system, cleaning your flame sensor is a task you are able to do on your own. Or, one of our heating service specialists has the ability to complete it for you.
If you want to clean the sensor yourself, you need:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Section of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- An unused paper towel
As the next step:
- Disable the heater’s power with its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you have to switch off the gas as well.
- Take off the furnace’s front panel and track the wire to the flame sensor.
- Remove the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to gently clean the metal rod.
- Wipe off 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 set of tests before resuming regular operation. If your heating system doesn’t start, the sensor may have to be replaced or something else could be creating an issue. If this happens, contact us at 308-624-3485 for heating and cooling repair help.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you own an outdated heating system, the pilot light could be extinguished. To relight it, locate the steps on a sticker on your furnace, or follow these guidelines.
- Look for the switch below your heating system marked “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Move the switch to the “off” position.
- Wait at least five minutes to avoid creating a fire.
- Push the knob to “pilot.”
- Hold down the “reset” lever as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Depress the “reset” lever once the pilot light is ignited.
If you have tried the instructions twice and the pilot light still won’t light or keep burning, call us at 308-624-3485 for furnace service.
Inspect Your Energy Supply
Try switching on another gas appliance. If it doesn’t function, your natural gas service could be switched off, or you might have run out of propane.