Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Check the Thermostat
First, ensure your thermostat is instructing your furnace to turn on.
- Swap out the batteries if the monitor is not displaying anything. If the digital screen is messed up, the thermostat might need to be changed.
- Make certain that the button is on “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Make sure the program is set to the right day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having problems turning off the schedule, set the temperature with the up/down arrows and pressing the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to turn on if thermostat is causing trouble.
- Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than the room temperature.
If your furnace hasn’t started within a couple minutes, make sure it has electricity by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t begin to run, your furnace may not have power.
If you use a smart thermostat—like one made by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will be determined by the model you have. Check the manufacturer’s website for assistance. If you’re still unable to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, contact us at 916-243-6714 for heating and cooling service.
2. Examine Breakers and Switches
Next, confirm your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Locate your main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure where it is, look for a silver metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet are dry prior to opening the panel or breakers.
- Look for the breaker titled “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s moved to “on.” If the breaker has tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
- With one hand, steadily 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 a team member from American HVAC Inc at 916-243-6714 quickly.
Regardless of your furnace’s age or brand, it has at least one regular wall switch located on or close to it.
- Make sure the lever is flipped up in the “on” spot. If it was turned off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to start. (If you’re unaware of where to find your furnace, take a look at your basement, garage or utility closet. It may also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Get a New Air Filter
When we consider heating breakdowns, a filthy, full air filter is often to blame.
If your filter is too grungy:
- Your heat won’t stay on, or it could get too warm from restricted airflow.
- Your heating expenses could be higher because your furnace is operating more often.
- Your heat could fail prematurely because a filthy filter triggers it to overwork.
- Your heating may be cut off from power if an overly clogged filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.
Depending on what make of heating system you have, your air filter can be found in the interior of the blower compartment of your heating system, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Turn off your heater.
- Remove the filter and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t view light through it, replace it.
- Put in the new filter with the arrow facing toward the furnace to prevent damage.
Flat filters ought to be replaced once a month, 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 the procedure easier down the line, use a permanent pen on your heater exterior or ductwork to show the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Look at the Condensate Pan
Commonly known as drain pans, condensate pans hold liquid your heater removes from the air.
If liquid is dripping out of your heating system or its pan has too much water in it, try these guidelines.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), make sure that it isn’t clogged. If it needs to 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 can’t be moved from the “up” position with water in the pan, contact us at 916-243-6714, because you will probably have to get a new pump.
5. Check for Furnace Error Codes
If faults persist, peek within your heater’s plastic window to check the blower motor’s status. Depending on the brand, the light might also be fixed on the exterior of your heating system.
If you note anything other than an uninterrupted, colored light or flickering green light, reach us at 916-243-6714 for HVAC service. Your heater may be communicating an error code that requires professional assistance.
6. Scrub the Flame Sensor
If your heating system attempts to start but switches off without putting out heated air, a filthy flame sensor could be responsible. When this happens, your furnace will make an attempt to start three times before a safety device shuts it down for around an hour.
If you feel confident with removing the panels from your heating system, brushing off your flame sensor is a job you are able to do on your own. Or, one of our heating service specialists has the ability to finish it for you.
If you want to clean 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
- Disable the heating system’s power by using its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you will need to shut off the gas as well.
- Lift off the heating system’s front panel and follow the wire to the flame sensor.
- Take off the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to lightly rub the metal rod.
- Clear the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Switch the furnace’s power back on. It may go through a set of tests before continuing regular heating. If your furnace doesn’t ignite, the sensor may need to be replaced or something else could be creating an issue. If this happens, get in touch with us at 916-243-6714 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Reignite the Pilot Light
If you have an aging furnace, the pilot light could be out. To light it, locate the directions on a sheet on your heating system, or try these guidelines.
- Look for the switch on the bottom of your heater labeled “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Push the switch to the “off” position.
- Wait at least five minutes to avoid starting a fire.
- Turn the dial to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” button as you move the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Let go of the “reset” button once the pilot light is burning.
If you have tried the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t light or remain burning, contact us at 916-243-6714 for furnace service.
Check Your Fuel Source
Try using a second gas appliance. If it doesn’t function, your natural gas delivery may be switched off, or you could be out of propane.