Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Inspect the Thermostat
First, ensure your thermostat is instructing your heat to turn on.
- Change the batteries if the display is empty. If the digital monitor is messed up, the thermostat might need to be replaced.
- Make certain that the control is switched to “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
- Make sure the program is set to the appropriate day and time and is programmed to “run.” If you’re having a hard time getting out of 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.
- Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees above the temperature of the room.
If your heater hasn’t started within several minutes, ensure it has electricity by changing the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t operate, your furnace may not have power.
If you have a smart thermostat—for example one manufactured by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will be determined by the model you have. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for assistance. If you’re still unable to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, contact us at 503-663-8033 for heating and cooling service.
2. Inspect Breakers and Switches
Next, confirm your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Locate your main electrical panel. If you have no idea where it is, keep an eye out for a silver metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make sure your hands and feet are dry in advance of using the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker marked “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s reading “on.” If you find that the breaker tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” area.
- Moving one hand, firmly switch 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 an expert from Honke Heating & AC at 503-663-8033 right away.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one ordinary wall switch set on or near it.
- Make sure the lever is flipped up in the “on” placement. If it was turned off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to turn on. (If you’re unaware of where to find your furnace, check your basement, garage or utility closet. It can 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 frequently the top offender.
If your filter is too grungy:
- Your heating system won’t keep heating your home, or it could get too hot from reduced airflow.
- Your gas expenses may be higher because your heat is working too often.
- Your furnace might fail prematurely due to the fact a dusty filter forces it to work harder.
- Your heating might be disconnected from power if an extremely clogged filter results in a tripped breaker.
Based on what make of heating system you have, your air filter can be found inside the blower compartment of your heater, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To swap out your filter:
- Switch off your heater.
- Take out the filter and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, use a new one.
- Install the new filter with the arrow motioning toward the heating system to keep damage from happening.
Flat filters should be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you may have to put in a new filter more often.
To make the process smoother in the future, write with a permanent marker on your furnace outside 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 draws from the air.
If liquid is dripping out of your heating system or its pan has standing water in it, follow these steps.
- If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it isn’t clogged. If it should be drained, get a special pan-cleaning tablet you can get at home improvement or hardware shops.
- If your pan contains a pump, take a look at the float switch. If the button is jammed “up” with standing water in the pan, call us at 503-663-8033, because you will probably have to buy a new pump.
5. Check for Furnace Error Codes
If failures persist, peek at your furnace’s plastic window to check the blower motor’s status. Subject to the brand, the light may also be attached on the surface of your heater.
If you see anything else besides a solid, colored light or blinking green light, reach us at 503-663-8033 for HVAC service. Your furnace could be communicating an error code that requires specialized service.
6. Brush off the Flame Sensor
If your furnace attempts to run but shuts off without distributing warm air, a dusty flame sensor might be responsible. When this occurs, your heater will attempt to ignite three times before a safety device shuts it down for about an hour.
If you feel comfortable with opening up your heating system, gently scrubbing your flame sensor is something you are able to do personally. Or, one of our heating service specialists is able to finish it for you.
If you are confident cleaning the sensor personally, you should have:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A fresh paper towel
- Turn off 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 along with it.
- Remove the heater’s front panel and trace the wire to the flame sensor.
- Unscrew the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to carefully rub the metal rod.
- Clear the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Replace the furnace doors.
- Restore power to the furnace. It may proceed through a set of inspections before continuing usual heating. If your furnace doesn’t start, the sensor might need to be replaced or something else may be creating an issue. If this occurs, get in touch with us at 503-663-8033 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you own an outdated heating system, the pilot light could be turned off. To reignite it, find the steps on a label on your heating system, or use these steps.
- Look for the lever beneath your heater that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Move the switch to the “off” position.
- Take a break for at least five minutes to avoid creating a fire.
- Push the knob to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” button as you move the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Depress the “reset” button once the pilot light is ignited.
If you have followed the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or remain burning, get in touch with us at 503-663-8033 for furnace service.
Double-Check Your Fuel Delivery System
Try switching on an additional gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas delivery could be shut off, or you could be out of propane.