Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Look at the Thermostat
First, make certain that your thermostat is instructing your heat to start.
- Change the batteries if the screen is blank. If the digital screen is jumbled, the thermostat might need to be replaced.
- Make sure the control is switched to “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is displaying the appropriate day and time and is programmed 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 ignite if thermostat is causing trouble.
- Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees hotter than the room temperature.
If your heater hasn’t started within several minutes, make certain that it has juice by changing the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your heater may not have power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—like one made by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting is very model-specific. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for support. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to work, contact us at 204-728-0180 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 silver metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make sure your hands and feet are dry prior to opening the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker titled “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s turned “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” area.
- With one hand, firmly 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 contact an expert from Brandon Heating and Plumbing at 204-728-0180 quickly.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one regular wall switch situated on or close to it.
- Make sure the switch is flipped up in the “on” placement. If it was switched off, anticipate your furnace could take up to five minutes to ignite. (If you don’t know where your furnace is located, take a look at 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 consider heating breakdowns, a dirty, clogged air filter is often the top culprit.
If your filter is too grungy:
- Your furnace won’t keep heating your home, or it may overheat from restricted airflow.
- Your utility bills may go up because your heater is operating more than it should.
- Your heater might fail too soon since a filthy filter causes it to work harder.
- Your heating can lose power if an extremely filthy filter causes the breaker to trip.
Based on what type of heating system you have, your air filter can be found within the blower compartment of your heater, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Cut the power to your furnace.
- Pull out the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t notice light through it, get a new one.
- Put in the new filter with the arrow motioning toward the heating system to prevent damage.
Flat filters ought to be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you may have to change your filter sooner.
To make the process smoother down the road, write with a permanent marker on your furnace outside or ductwork to show the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Examine the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans catch moisture your furnace removes from the air.
If water is seeping out of your heating system or its pan has too much water in it, try these recommendations.
- If your pan includes a drain (look for a PVC pipe), check that it isn’t full. If it should be drained, use a special pan-cleaning tablet you can get at home improvement or hardware stores.
- If your pan contains a pump, check the float switch. If the switch is jammed “up” with liquid in the pan, call us at 204-728-0180, because you will probably have to get a new pump.
5. Watch for Heating Error Codes
If failures persist, look at your heater’s plastic window to check the blower motor’s status. Subject to the type, the light may also be attached on the exterior of your furnace.
If you notice anything other than a steady, colored light or blinking green light, call us at 204-728-0180 for HVAC service. Your heating system may be communicating an error code that needs professional help.
6. Scrub the Flame Sensor
If your furnace makes an effort to start but turns off without putting out warmth, a dusty flame sensor can be at fault. When this takes place, your furnace will make an attempt to turn on three times before a safety mechanism shuts it down for around an hour.
If you feel comfortable with removing the panels from your heater, cleaning your flame sensor is a job you are able to do yourself. Or, one of our heating service experts is able to finish it for you.
If you want to clean 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
- An unused paper towel
- Disable the heater’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you have to turn off the gas in addition.
- Take off the heating system’s front panel and trace the wire to the flame sensor.
- Remove the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to gently rub the metal rod.
- Clear the rod with a paper towel.
- Remount the sensor.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Switch the furnace’s power back on. It could go through a series of tests before continuing usual operation. If your furnace doesn’t start, the sensor may require replacement or something else could be causing a problem. If this takes place, contact us at 204-728-0180 for heating and cooling repair help.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you are using an outdated heating system, the pilot light could be out. To light it, look for the directions on a sticker on your heater, or try these steps.
- Find the toggle beneath your furnace marked “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Turn the switch to the “off” position.
- Take a break for at least five minutes to limit the possibility for sparking a fire.
- Move the knob to “pilot.”
- Press the “reset” button as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Depress the “reset” button once the pilot light is burning.
If you have followed the list twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or stay lit, call us at 204-728-0180 for furnace service.
Double-Check Your Fuel Supply
Try turning on another gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas service might be shut off, or you may have run out of propane.