Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Check the Thermostat
First, make certain that your thermostat is signaling your heat to turn on.
- Swap out the batteries if the screen is not displaying anything. If the digital display is scrambled, the thermostat may need to be swapped out.
- Make certain that the switch is set to “heat” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is displaying the right day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having a hard time turning off the program, set 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.
- Turn the temperature setting to 5 degrees hotter than the temperature of the room.
If your furnace hasn’t turned on within several minutes, ensure it has juice by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t operate, your heater might not have power.
If you have a smart thermostat—like 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 assistance. If you still can’t get your Wi-Fi thermostat to work, contact us at 319-208-3295 for heating and cooling service.
2. Check Breakers and Switches
Next, check if your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Find your main electrical panel. If you have no idea 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 touching the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker marked “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s switched “on.” If you find that the breaker tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” spot.
- Moving one hand, quickly flip the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker trips right away and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and call an expert from Ilten's Incorporated at 319-208-3295 right away.
Regardless of your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one regular wall switch located on or by it.
- Make sure the lever is flipped up in the “on” position. If it was shut off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to start. (If you don’t know where to locate your furnace, look in your basement, garage or utility closet. It can also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Get a New Air Filter
When we consider heating issues, a filthy, blocked air filter is regularly the top offender.
If your filter is too grungy:
- Your heater won’t be able to stay on, or it may get too hot from reduced airflow.
- Your utility bills may go up because your heating system is turning on more often.
- Your heater might fail sooner than it should since a filthy filter forces it to work harder.
- Your heater can be cut off from power if an excessively clogged filter results in a tripped breaker.
While it depends on what make of furnace you use, your air filter is located inside the blower compartment of your heating system, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To swap out your filter:
- Cut the power to your furnace.
- Take out the filter and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t notice light through it, replace it.
- Insert the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the heating system to avoid damage.
Flat filters ought to be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you may have to put in a new filter more frequently.
To make changing your filter smoother down the road, draw with a permanent writing tool on your furnace exterior or ductwork to show the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Examine the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans catch water your heating system draws from the air.
If water is dripping from within your heating system or its pan is overflowing, try these guidelines.
- If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), check that it isn’t clogged. If it should be drained, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can get at home improvement or hardware shops.
- If your pan uses a pump, inspect the float switch. If the switch is stuck “up” with standing water in the pan, call us at 319-208-3295, because you will probably have to get a new pump.
5. Watch for Heater Error Codes
If faults continue, take a look within your heater’s plastic window to check the blower motor’s status. Depending on the model, the light could also be attached on the exterior of your heater.
If you see anything else besides a solid, colored light or blinking green light, contact us at 319-208-3295 for HVAC service. Your heater might be giving an error code that is calling for specialized assistance.
6. Clean the Flame Sensor
If your furnace tries to work but shuts off without distributing heat, a grimy flame sensor could be responsible. When this takes place, your furnace will attempt to start three times before a safety mechanism turns it off for around an hour.
If you feel comfortable with taking the panels off your heating system, cleaning your flame sensor is a job you have the ability to do yourself. Or, one of our heating service specialists has the ability to do it for you.
If you are fine with cleaning the sensor yourself, you require:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Piece of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- An unused paper towel
- Disable the furnace’s power with its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you must switch off the gas in addition.
- Remove 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 carefully rub the metal rod.
- Clear the rod with a paper towel.
- Remount the sensor.
- Secure the furnace doors.
- Turn the furnace’s power back on. It might proceed through a sequence of examinations before resuming usual heating. If your heating system doesn’t start, the sensor could need to be replaced or something else might be creating an issue. If this happens, call us at 319-208-3295 for heating and cooling repair support.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you own an older heater, the pilot light could be turned off. To reignite it, find the guide on a sheet on your furnace, or try these recommendations.
- Look for the toggle below 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 creating a fire.
- Turn the switch to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” lever as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Let go of the “reset” lever once the pilot light is lit.
If you have followed the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or remain lit, contact us at 319-208-3295 for furnace service.
Inspect Your Fuel Source
Try using another gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas service could be switched off, or you could be out of propane.