Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Check the Thermostat
To start, make sure your thermostat is telling your furnace to ignite.
- Swap out the batteries if the screen is empty. If the digital monitor is scrambled, the thermostat may need to be changed.
- Make certain that the control is switched to “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Ensure the program is displaying the correct day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having a hard time turning off the schedule, set the temperature by using the up/down arrows and using the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to start if thermostat is causing a problem.
- Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than what the room temperature currently is.
If your heating hasn’t kicked on within several minutes, make sure it has power by moving the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t operate, your heating system could be without 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 assistance. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, reach us at 570-244-2510 for heating and cooling service.
2. Examine Breakers and Switches
Next, check if your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Locate your main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure where it is, search for a metallic metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make certain that your hands and feet aren’t moist prior to using the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker titled “furnace” or “heat,” and ensure it’s reading “on.” If the breaker has tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
- Moving one hand, firmly turn 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 George Home Services at 570-244-2510 immediately.
It doesn’t matter how old your furnace is or what brand it is, it has at minimum one regular wall switch placed on or by it.
- Ensure the control is facing up in the “on” placement. If it was turned off, anticipate your furnace could take up to five minutes to ignite. (If you’re unsure where your furnace is located, check your basement, garage or utility closet. It can also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Put in a New Air Filter
When we think about heating problems, a grungy, blocked air filter is regularly the top culprit.
If your filter is too dusty:
- Your heat won’t be able to stay on, or it may overheat from limited airflow.
- Your gas expenses could go up because your heater is working more than it should.
- Your furnace could stop working too soon due to the fact a filthy filter causes it to work harder.
- Your heater might be cut off from power if an overly filthy filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.
Depending on what type of heating system you own, your air filter is located in the interior of the blower compartment of your furnace, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Switch off your furnace.
- Take out the filter and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t notice light through it, get a new one.
- Insert the new filter with the arrow motioning toward the heating system to prevent damage.
Flat filters should be replaced once a month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you may have to replace your filter more frequently.
To make the process easier down the road, use a permanent marker on your furnace housing or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Inspect the Condensate Pan
Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans hold water your furnace removes from the air.
If moisture is dripping from within your furnace or its pan has standing water in it, try these recommendations.
- If your pan includes a drain (look for a PVC pipe), make sure that it isn’t clogged. If it requires draining, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware retailers.
- If your pan contains a pump, take a look at the float switch. If the switch is jammed “up” with water in the pan, contact us at 570-244-2510, because you will possibly have to buy a new pump.
5. Check for Heating Error Codes
If failures keep on happening, peek at your heating system’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the type, the light could also be mounted on the surface of your furnace.
If you note anything other than an uninterrupted, colored light or twinkling green light, contact us at 570-244-2510 for HVAC service. Your heating system could be emitting an error code that requires expert assistance.
6. Clean the Flame Sensor
If your heating system attempts to run but turns off without blowing warm air, a dusty flame sensor can be at fault. When this occurs, your heating system will try to ignite three times before a safety device powers it down for about an hour.
If you feel confident with taking the panels off your heater, cleaning your flame sensor is a task you are able to do personally. Or, one of our heating service professionals has the ability to complete it for you.
If you are confident cleaning the sensor on your own, you should have:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A dry, clean paper towel
- Shut off the heater’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 as well.
- Lift 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 scrub the metal rod.
- Clear the rod with a paper towel.
- Put the sensor back in.
- Secure the furnace doors.
- Turn the furnace’s power back on. It could run through a sequence of checks before continuing regular heating. If your heating system doesn’t ignite, the sensor might require replacement or something else could be wrong. If this occurs, get in touch with us at 570-244-2510 for heating and cooling repair help.
7. Light the Pilot Light
If you own an outdated heating system, the pilot light could be extinguished. To reignite it, look for the guide on a sheet on your heater, or use these steps.
- Find the switch below your heating system marked “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Push the switch to the “off” position.
- Don’t do anything for at least five minutes to avoid sparking a fire.
- Move the dial to “pilot.”
- Hold down the “reset” button as you move the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Let go of the “reset” switch once the pilot light is burning.
If you have tried the instructions twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or stay lit, get in touch with us at 570-244-2510 for furnace service.
Check Your Energy Source
Try using another gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas service could be shut off, or you may have run out of propane.