Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Check the Thermostat
To start, make certain that your thermostat is signaling your furnace to ignite.
- Change the batteries if the screen is not displaying anything. If the digital monitor is scrambled, the thermostat may need to be replaced.
- Make certain that the button is set to “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Make sure the program is set to the appropriate day and time and is programmed to “run.” If you’re having a hard time overriding the schedule, regulate the temperature with the up/down arrows and pressing the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to start if thermostat is causing an issue.
- Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than what the room temperature currently is.
If your furnace hasn’t turned on within a couple minutes, make certain that it has electricity by switching the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your furnace might not have power.
If you have a smart thermostat—such as one manufactured by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will be determined by the model you have. Take a look at the manufacturer’s website for support. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to work, call us at 570-648-0748 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 don’t know where it is, search for a gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet are dry before opening the panel or breakers.
- Find the breaker titled “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” position.
- Moving one hand, firmly flip the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker immediately trips and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and get in touch with an expert from LTS Plumbing & Heating Inc. at 570-648-0748 quickly.
Regardless of your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one ordinary wall switch located on or near it.
- Make certain 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 don’t know where to find your furnace, look in your basement, garage or utility closet. It may also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Buy a New Air Filter
When it comes to heater problems, a filthy, blocked air filter is regularly the top culprit.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your heating system won’t keep heating your home, or it might get too warm from restricted airflow.
- Your energy expenses may go up because your heater is operating more often.
- Your heating system might stop working too soon because a dusty filter causes it to work harder.
- Your furnace may lose power if an overly filthy filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.
Based on what model of furnace you use, your air filter will be inside 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 hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light through it, use a new one.
- Insert the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the heating system to avoid damage.
Flat filters should be replaced every month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you might have to change your filter sooner.
To make changing your filter go more quickly down the line, use a permanent marker on your furnace housing or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Check the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans capture liquid your furnace draws from the air.
If water is seeping out of your heating system or its pan has too much water in it, use these guidelines.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), make sure that it isn’t full. If it should be drained, 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 lever is jammed “up” with liquid in the pan, contact us at 570-648-0748, because you will probably have to install a new pump.
5. Look for Furnace Error Codes
If faults continue, look inside your furnace’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Depending on the model, the light may also be attached on the exterior of your heating system.
If you see anything other than a solid, colored light or blinking green light, contact us at 570-648-0748 for HVAC service. Your furnace may be giving an error code that requires expert service.
6. Clean the Flame Sensor
If your furnace tries to work but switches off without putting out warm air, a filthy flame sensor could be to blame. When this happens, your heater will try to ignite three times before a safety feature shuts it down for around an hour.
If you feel comfortable with removing the panels from your heater, brushing off your flame sensor is something you are able to do personally. Or, one of our heating service professionals can finish it for you.
If you want to clean the sensor yourself, you require:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- An unused paper towel
As the next step:
- Turn off the heating system’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If your furnace’s gas valve isn’t electric, you must switch off the gas in addition.
- Take off the heater’s front panel and track the wire to the flame sensor.
- Unscrew the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to carefully scrub the metal rod.
- Clean the rod with a paper towel.
- Put the sensor back in.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Switch the furnace’s power back on. It may proceed through a sequence of checks before proceeding with regular heating. If your furnace doesn’t start, the sensor may have to be replaced or something else might be creating an issue. If this occurs, contact us at 570-648-0748 for heating and cooling repair support.
7. Light the Pilot Light
If you have an older heater, the pilot light could be out. To reignite it, look for the directions on a sheet on your furnace, or try these recommendations.
- Look for the lever beneath your furnace labeled “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Move the switch to the “off” position.
- Take a break for at least five minutes to avoid creating a fire.
- Turn the knob to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” switch as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Let go of the “reset” switch once the pilot light is ignited.
If you have gone through the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or stay lit, call us at 570-648-0748 for furnace service.
Check Your Fuel Supply
Try using a second gas appliance. If it doesn’t function, your natural gas service may be switched off, or you could be out of propane.