Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Check the Thermostat
To start, make sure your thermostat is instructing your heat to start.
- Swap out the batteries if the screen is empty. If the digital monitor is messed up, the thermostat may need to be swapped out.
- Ensure the button is on “heat” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is showing the correct day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having problems overriding the setting, set the temperature with the up/down arrows and holding the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to ignite if thermostat is causing an issue.
- Turn the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than the temperature of the room.
If your heat hasn’t kicked on within a couple minutes, ensure it has juice by moving the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your furnace could be without power.
If you have a smart thermostat—for example one made by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will be determined by the model you have. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for help. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, call us at 208-621-0129 for heating and cooling service.
2. Check Breakers and Switches
Next, confirm your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Locate your main electrical panel. If you don’t know where it is, keep an eye out for a gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet are dry prior to opening the panel or breakers.
- Locate 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.
- With one hand, quickly flip the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker instantly trips and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and call a team member from Vogts Heating & Air at 208-621-0129 right away.
Regardless of your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one standard wall switch located on or by it.
- Make certain the switch is facing up in the “on” placement. If it was switched off, expect your furnace to take up to five minutes to turn on. (If you don’t know where to locate your furnace, look in your basement, garage or utility closet. It could also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Buy a New Air Filter
When we think about heater problems, a grungy, blocked air filter is frequently to blame.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your heater won’t be able to stay on, or it might get too warm from limited airflow.
- Your utility bills may go up because your heating system is turning on more often.
- Your furnace could fail too soon due to the fact a dusty filter causes it to overwork.
- Your heating system may lose power if an extremely clogged filter results in a tripped breaker.
Depending on what make of heating system you use, your air filter can be found in the interior of the blower compartment of your furnace, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Switch off your heating system.
- Pull out the filter and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, get a new one.
- Install the new filter with the arrow facing toward the heater to keep damage from happening.
Flat filters should be replaced every month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you may have to change your filter more often.
To make the process go more quickly down the road, use a permanent pen on your heating system exterior or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Look at the Condensate Pan
Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans capture water your furnace removes from the air.
If liquid is dripping out of your heater or its pan is overflowing, try these guidelines.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it isn’t clogged. If it needs to be drained, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can purchase at home improvement or hardware retailers.
- If your pan has a pump, take a look at the float switch. If the switch is jammed “up” with standing water in the pan, contact us at 208-621-0129, because you will probably have to buy a new pump.
5. Watch for Heating Error Codes
If faults keep on happening, look within your heater’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the type, the light could also be attached on the outside of your heating system.
If you see anything other than a solid, colored light or flickering green light, call us at 208-621-0129 for HVAC service. Your heater might be emitting an error code that is calling for expert service.
6. Clean the Flame Sensor
If your heater tries to start but switches off without blowing heat, a dirty flame sensor can be to blame. When this occurs, your heater will attempt to ignite three times before a safety feature turns it off for about an hour.
If you feel confident with opening up your furnace, cleaning your flame sensor is a job you have the ability to do personally. Or, one of our heating service experts can 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 dry, clean paper towel
As the next step:
- Disable the heating system’s power by using its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you have to shut off the gas in addition.
- Lift off the furnace’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.
- Put the sensor back in.
- Secure the furnace doors.
- Restore power to the furnace. It might go through a set of checks before resuming usual operation. If your heater doesn’t start, the sensor may have to be replaced or something else might be causing a problem. If this takes place, contact us at 208-621-0129 for heating and cooling repair help.
7. Light the Pilot Light
If you are using an aging furnace, the pilot light could be turned off. To reignite it, locate the instructions on a label on your furnace, or try these steps.
- Look for the switch on the bottom of your heating system 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 switch to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” lever as you bring the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Release the “reset” lever once the pilot light is lit.
If you have gone through the instructions twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or stay ignited, contact us at 208-621-0129 for furnace service.
Inspect Your Energy Delivery System
Try switching on an additional gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas delivery might be turned off, or you might have run out of propane.