Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Look at the Thermostat
First, ensure your thermostat is instructing your heat to ignite.
- Replace the batteries if the display is blank. If the digital display is mixed up, the thermostat might need to be swapped out.
- Make sure the switch is set to “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Ensure the program is showing the correct day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having trouble getting out of the program, adjust the temperature with the up/down arrows and holding the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to turn on if thermostat is causing an issue.
- Turn the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than the room temperature.
If your heating hasn’t started within a few minutes, make certain that it has juice by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t operate, your heating system could be without power.
If you have a smart thermostat—like one designed 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 505-445-1250 for heating and cooling service.
2. Check 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, keep an eye out for a silver metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make certain that your hands and feet aren’t moist before using the panel or breakers.
- Find the breaker titled “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s switched “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 immediately trips and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and call a team member from I-Deal HVAC at 505-445-1250 immediately.
It doesn’t matter how old your furnace is or what brand it is, it has at least one ordinary wall switch situated on or close to it.
- Ensure the lever is moved up in the “on” position. If it was switched off, anticipate your furnace could take up to five minutes to start. (If you’re unaware of where your furnace is located, take a look at your basement, garage or utility closet. It could also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Replace the Air Filter
When it comes to heating issues, a dirty, full air filter is frequently the top culprit.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your heating system won’t stay on, or it might get too hot from limited airflow.
- Your energy expenses might be higher because your heat is running too often.
- Your heat may fail too soon because a dirty filter forces it to work overtime.
- Your heater can lose power if an extremely dirty filter causes the breaker to trip.
While it depends on what make of heater you have, your air filter will be inside the blower compartment of your heater, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To swap out your filter:
- Switch off your heating system.
- Remove the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t view light through it, get a new one.
- Insert the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the heating system to avoid damage.
Flat filters should 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 process easier down the line, write with a permanent pen on your heating system exterior or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Inspect the Condensate Pan
Commonly known as drain pans, condensate pans catch water your heating system draws from the air.
If liquid is dripping out of your heater or its pan has standing water in it, use these steps.
- If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), check that it isn’t clogged. If it needs to be drained, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware shops.
- If your pan has a pump, inspect the float switch. If the button can’t be moved from the “up” position with water in the pan, contact us at 505-445-1250, because you will possibly need a new pump.
5. Watch for Furnace Error Codes
If failures persist, look inside your furnace’s plastic window to check the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the brand, the light could also be attached on the surface of your heater.
If you notice anything else besides a steady, colored light or blinking green light, contact us at 505-445-1250 for HVAC service. Your furnace could be communicating an error code that needs pro service.
6. Clean the Flame Sensor
If your heating system tries to start but switches off without distributing warmth, a dirty flame sensor could be to blame. When this occurs, your furnace will try to ignite three times before a safety mechanism shuts it down for about an hour.
If you feel okay with taking the panels off your heating system, gently scrubbing your flame sensor is work you can do personally. Or, one of our heating service experts can finish it for you.
If you are fine with cleaning the sensor on your own, you should have:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Bit of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- An unused paper towel
- Turn off the heater’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you must turn off the gas in addition.
- Take off the heating system’s front panel and track the wire to the flame sensor.
- Unscrew the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to gently clean the metal rod.
- Wipe off the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Secure the furnace doors.
- Restore power to the furnace. It might proceed through a sequence of inspections before continuing usual heating. If your furnace doesn’t start, the sensor might have to be replaced or something else may be creating an issue. If this occurs, call us at 505-445-1250 for heating and cooling repair help.
7. Reignite the Pilot Light
If you have an outdated heating system, the pilot light could be turned off. To light it, find the directions on a sticker on your heater, or try these guidelines.
- Locate the toggle on the bottom of your heating system that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Push the switch to the “off” position.
- Take a break for at least five minutes to prevent sparking a fire.
- Turn the knob to “pilot.”
- Hold down the “reset” button as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Depress the “reset” switch once the pilot light is burning.
If you have gone through the list twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or keep ignited, call us at 505-445-1250 for furnace service.
Inspect Your Gas Delivery System
Try turning on a second gas appliance. If it doesn’t function, your natural gas service could be switched off, or you could be out of propane.