Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Look at the Thermostat
To begin, make certain that your thermostat is instructing your heat to turn on.
- Change the batteries if the screen is not displaying anything. If the digital display is scrambled, the thermostat might need to be replaced.
- Make certain that the control is switched to “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is set to the right day and time and is programmed to “run.” If you’re having a hard time turning off the setting, set the temperature by utilizing the up/down arrows and pressing the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to start if thermostat is causing trouble.
- Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees hotter than what the room temperature currently is.
If your heating hasn’t turned on within a couple minutes, make certain that it has juice by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t begin to run, your heating system may not have power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—such as one made by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will depend on your model. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for support. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, reach us at 760-784-9034 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, look for a metallic metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet aren’t moist in advance of using the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker marked “furnace” or “heat,” and ensure it’s turned “on.” If the breaker has tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” area.
- 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 get in touch with a professional from Bishop Heating & Air Conditioning at 760-784-9034 right away.
It doesn’t matter how old your furnace is or what brand it is, it has at least one regular wall switch located on or near it.
- Make certain the switch is facing up in the “on” spot. If it was switched off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to start. (If you’re unsure where to locate your furnace, look in your basement, garage or utility closet. It can also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Put in a New Air Filter
When it comes to heating problems, a filthy, clogged air filter is frequently the top offender.
If your filter is too dusty:
- Your heating system won’t be able to stay on, or it might get too hot from reduced airflow.
- Your gas expenses may be higher because your furnace is operating more than it should.
- Your heater may fail prematurely since a dusty filter triggers it to work overtime.
- Your heating may be cut off from power if an excessively clogged filter results in a tripped breaker.
Based on what type of furnace you have, your air filter will be inside 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 heating system.
- Pull out the filter and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t notice light through it, get a new one.
- Install the new filter with the arrow facing toward the heater to avoid damage.
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 replace your filter sooner.
To make the process easier in the future, write with a permanent marker on your heating system outside or ductwork to show the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Inspect the Condensate Pan
Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans capture moisture your heating system draws from the air.
If moisture is seeping out of your furnace or its pan has standing water in it, try these steps.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it isn’t full. If it requires draining, 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 lever can’t be moved from the “up” position with water in the pan, reach us at 760-784-9034, because you will likely have to install a new pump.
5. Look for Furnace Error Codes
If failures keep on happening, peek inside your heating system’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Subject to the brand, the light may also be mounted on the outside of your heater.
If you note anything except an uninterrupted, colored light or blinking green light, reach us at 760-784-9034 for HVAC service. Your furnace may be communicating an error code that is calling for specialized assistance.
6. Scrub the Flame Sensor
If your furnace tries to work but switches off without distributing heat, a dusty flame sensor could be at fault. When this happens, your heater will make an attempt to turn on three times before a safety mechanism shuts it down for about an hour.
If you feel okay with taking the panels off your heating system, cleaning your flame sensor is a task you have the ability to do on your own. Or, one of our heating service experts can complete it for you.
If you are confident cleaning the sensor yourself, you should have:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A fresh paper towel
- Shut off the heater’s power with its wall switch or breaker. If your furnace’s gas valve isn’t electric, you have to turn off the gas in addition.
- Take off the heater’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.
- Wipe off the rod with a paper towel.
- Put the sensor back in.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Restore power to the furnace. It might run through a series of inspections before resuming usual operation. If your heater doesn’t ignite, the sensor could have to be replaced or something else may be creating an issue. If this happens, contact us at 760-784-9034 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Light the Pilot Light
If you own an outdated furnace, the pilot light could be out. To light it, find the directions on a label on your furnace, or follow these guidelines.
- Locate the lever beneath your heating system that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Push the switch to the “off” position.
- Take a break for at least five minutes to prevent sparking a fire.
- Move the dial to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” switch as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Depress the “reset” switch once the pilot light is burning.
If you have followed the list twice and the pilot light still won’t light or stay ignited, call us at 760-784-9034 for furnace service.
Inspect Your Gas Delivery System
Try switching on an additional gas appliance. If it doesn’t function, your natural gas source may be turned off, or you might have run out of propane.