Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Inspect the Thermostat
To start, make sure your thermostat is telling your heat to turn on.
- Change the batteries if the display is not displaying anything. If the digital screen is mixed up, the thermostat could need to be swapped out.
- Make certain that the button is on “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
- Ensure the program is set to the correct day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having problems getting out of the setting, set the temperature by using the up/down arrows and holding the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to turn on if thermostat is causing trouble.
- Turn the temperature setting to 5 degrees above the room temperature.
If your furnace hasn’t started within several minutes, make certain that it has juice by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your heating system might not have power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—such as one designed by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting is very model-specific. Take a look at the manufacturer’s website for help. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to work, call us at 402-438-7992 for heating and cooling service.
2. Examine Breakers and Switches
Next, verify your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Find your main electrical panel. If you have no idea where it is, search for a gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make certain that your hands and feet are dry prior to touching the panel or breakers.
- Look for the breaker labeled “furnace” or “heat,” and double-check it’s moved to “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” area.
- Using one hand, quickly switch the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker immediately trips and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and call a team member from AW Heating & Air Conditioning at 402-438-7992 quickly.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one ordinary wall switch placed on or near it.
- Ensure the lever is facing up in the “on” position. If it was shut off, anticipate your furnace could take up to five minutes to turn on. (If you’re unsure where your furnace is located, check your basement, garage or utility closet. It may also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Put in a New Air Filter
When we consider furnace breakdowns, a filthy, clogged air filter is often the top culprit.
If your filter is too dusty:
- Your heater won’t stay on, or it may get too hot from reduced airflow.
- Your utility expenses could increase because your heat is turning on too often.
- Your heating system may break down sooner than it should due to the fact a dusty filter causes it to work overtime.
- Your heater can lose power if an excessively dirty filter results in a tripped breaker.
Based on what model of furnace you have, your air filter will be in the interior of the blower compartment of your furnace, 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 see light through it, replace it.
- Put in the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the heating system to keep damage from happening.
Flat filters need to be replaced once a month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you might have to put in a new filter sooner.
To make the procedure go more quickly down the line, write with a permanent writing tool on your heating system housing or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Look at the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans capture water your heater draws from the air.
If liquid is seeping out of your furnace or its pan has too much water in it, use these recommendations.
- If your pan includes a drain (look for a PVC pipe), make sure that it isn’t full. If it requires draining, get a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware shops.
- If your pan uses a pump, inspect the float switch. If the button is stuck “up” with standing water in the pan, call us at 402-438-7992, because you will probably need a new pump.
5. Look for Heating Error Codes
If malfunctions persist, look inside your heater’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Depending on the model, the light may also be attached on the outside of your heater.
If you note anything except an uninterrupted, colored light or flickering green light, reach us at 402-438-7992 for HVAC service. Your heater may be giving an error code that needs expert service.
6. Scrub the Flame Sensor
If your heater attempts to run but switches off without distributing heat, a dirty flame sensor can be at fault. When this occurs, your furnace will attempt to start three times before a safety mechanism turns it off for about an hour.
If you feel comfortable with removing the panels from your heating system, gently scrubbing your flame sensor is something you are able to do on your own. Or, one of our heating service specialists can complete it for you.
If you want to clean 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 dry, clean paper towel
As the next step:
- Disable the furnace’s power by using its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you will need to turn off the gas in addition.
- Remove the heating system’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 scrub the metal rod.
- Wipe off the rod with a paper towel.
- Remount the sensor.
- Replace the furnace doors.
- Turn the furnace’s power back on. It may proceed through a set of tests before proceeding with usual operation. If your heating system doesn’t start, the sensor may have to be replaced or something else may be creating an issue. If this occurs, get in touch with us at 402-438-7992 for heating and cooling repair support.
7. Light the Pilot Light
If you have an older heater, the pilot light could be out. To relight it, find the guide on a sticker on your heater, or try these guidelines.
- Locate the toggle on the bottom of your furnace that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Push the switch to the “off” position.
- Take a break for at least five minutes to limit the possibility for starting a fire.
- Push the switch to “pilot.”
- Hold down the “reset” switch as you move the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Let go of the “reset” lever once the pilot light is ignited.
If you have gone through the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or keep burning, contact us at 402-438-7992 for furnace service.
Examine Your Fuel Source
Try turning on an additional gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas service might be turned off, or you might have run out of propane.