Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Inspect the Thermostat
To begin, make sure your thermostat is signaling your heat to start.
- Swap out the batteries if the screen is empty. If the digital screen is messed up, the thermostat could need to be replaced.
- Make certain that the button is switched to “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is set to the right day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having problems overriding the schedule, adjust the temperature by using the up/down arrows and holding the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to ignite if thermostat is causing a problem.
- Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees above what the room temperature currently is.
If your furnace hasn’t turned on within a few minutes, make certain that it has juice by switching 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. Take a look at the manufacturer’s website for support. If you’re still unable to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to operate, contact us at 334-524-2458 for heating and cooling service.
2. Inspect Breakers and Switches
Next, check if your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Look for your main electrical panel. If you don’t know where it is, look for a gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet aren’t moist before using the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker titled “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s turned “on.” If you find that the breaker tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” spot.
- Moving one hand, steadily 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 call an expert from Farnell Mechanical, Inc. at 334-524-2458 quickly.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has no less than one standard wall switch placed on or by it.
- Make sure the control is moved up in the “on” placement. If it was shut off, expect your furnace to take up to five minutes to start. (If you’re unaware of where to locate your furnace, take a look at your basement, garage or utility closet. It could also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Buy a New Air Filter
When it comes to heater problems, a grungy, full air filter is regularly the top offender.
If your filter is too grungy:
- Your furnace won’t stay on, or it could overheat from reduced airflow.
- Your gas costs may go up because your heat is switching on more often.
- Your heat may stop working sooner than it should because a filthy filter triggers it to overwork.
- Your furnace can be cut off from power if an excessively dirty filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.
Based on what make of heater you own, your air filter will be within the blower compartment of your furnace, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Turn off your furnace.
- Remove the filter and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, replace it.
- Put in the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the heating system to prevent damage.
Flat filters should be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you could have to put in a new filter sooner.
To make changing your filter easier down the road, draw with a permanent pen on your furnace exterior or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Inspect the Condensate Pan
Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans capture water your heater removes from the air.
If liquid is leaking out of your heater or its pan has standing water in it, use these recommendations.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), check that it’s clear. If it requires draining, get 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 button is jammed “up” with water in the pan, reach us at 334-524-2458, because you will possibly have to get a new pump.
5. Check for Heater Error Codes
If malfunctions keep on happening, look within your furnace’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Subject to the brand, the light could also be fixed on the surface of your furnace.
If you see anything except an uninterrupted, colored light or blinking green light, reach us at 334-524-2458 for HVAC service. Your furnace could be emitting an error code that needs pro assistance.
6. Brush off the Flame Sensor
If your heating system makes an effort to run but shuts off without blowing heat, a dusty flame sensor could be responsible. When this occurs, your furnace will try to ignite three times before a safety feature shuts it down for around an hour.
If you feel confident with opening up your heater, brushing off your flame sensor is a job you can do personally. Or, one of our heating service experts has the ability to complete it for you.
If you are confident cleaning the sensor on your own, you require:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Bit of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A fresh paper towel
- Shut off the heater’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you must switch off the gas as well.
- Lift off the heater’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.
- Clear the rod with a paper towel.
- Remount the sensor.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Switch the furnace’s power back on. It might proceed through a set of checks before resuming regular operation. If your heater doesn’t ignite, the sensor could require replacement or something else could be wrong. If this takes place, contact us at 334-524-2458 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Light the Pilot Light
If you own an outdated furnace, the pilot light could be turned off. To light it, look for the guide on a sheet on your furnace, or use these steps.
- Find the switch below your furnace that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Push the switch to the “off” position.
- Don’t do anything for at least five minutes to prevent starting a fire.
- Move the dial to “pilot.”
- Press 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 lit.
If you have used the instructions twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or keep lit, contact us at 334-524-2458 for furnace service.
Check Your Fuel Supply
Try turning on another gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas source could be turned off, or you may have run out of propane.