Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Examine the Thermostat
To start, make sure your thermostat is signaling your heat to turn on.
- Change the batteries if the display is not displaying anything. If the digital display is mixed up, the thermostat might need to be changed.
- Make certain that the control is on “heat” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is set to the right day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having a hard time getting out of the setting, adjust the temperature by using the up/down arrows and holding the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to ignite if thermostat is causing a problem.
- Turn the temperature setting to 5 degrees above what the room temperature currently is.
If your heater hasn’t started within a couple minutes, ensure it has juice by switching the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t begin to run, your heater could be without power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—for example one manufactured by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting is very model-specific. Take a look at the manufacturer’s website for support. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, reach us at 832-777-1521 for heating and cooling service.
2. Check Breakers and Switches
Next, confirm 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 sure your hands and feet aren’t wet in advance of using the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker labeled “furnace” or “heat,” and ensure it’s turned “on.” If you find that the breaker tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
- With one hand, quickly switch 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 a team member from Air Houston Mechanical LLC at 832-777-1521 quickly.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one regular wall switch placed on or by it.
- Make certain the lever is facing up in the “on” position. If it was turned off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to turn on. (If you’re unsure where to locate your furnace, take a look at your basement, garage or utility closet. It could also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Get a New Air Filter
When we think about heating breakdowns, a dirty, full air filter is often the top offender.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your heating system won’t keep heating your home, or it might get too hot from restricted airflow.
- Your heating costs may increase because your heating system is switching on too often.
- Your heating system may break down sooner than it should because a filthy filter triggers it to work overtime.
- Your heating might be cut off from power if an extremely clogged filter causes the breaker to trip.
Based on what make of heating system you own, 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.
- Take out the filter and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, use a new one.
- Install the new filter with the arrow motioning toward the heater to prevent damage.
Flat filters need to be replaced once a month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you may have to replace your filter more often.
To make changing your filter easier in the future, draw with a permanent pen on your heater housing or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Inspect the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans capture water your furnace removes from the air.
If moisture is dripping from within your furnace or its pan has too much water in it, follow these recommendations.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), make sure that it isn’t clogged. If it requires draining, use a special pan-cleaning tablet you can purchase at home improvement or hardware retailers.
- If your pan uses a pump, check the float switch. If the button is jammed “up” with water in the pan, contact us at 832-777-1521, because you will possibly have to get a new pump.
5. Watch for Heater Error Codes
If failures keep on happening, look inside your heating system’s plastic window to check the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the model, the light could also be attached on the outside of your heater.
If you notice anything except a steady, colored light or blinking green light, call us at 832-777-1521 for HVAC service. Your furnace may be emitting an error code that needs specialized service.
6. Scrub the Flame Sensor
If your heater tries to work but switches off without distributing heated air, a grimy flame sensor might be at fault. When this happens, your heating system will make an attempt to start three times before a safety device turns it off for approximately an hour.
If you feel comfortable with removing the panels from your heater, brushing off your flame sensor is a job you are able to do personally. Or, one of our heating service specialists is able to do it for you.
If you are confident cleaning the sensor on your own, you should have:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- An unused paper towel
- Disable the furnace’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If your furnace’s gas valve isn’t electric, you must turn off the gas as well.
- Remove 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.
- Replace the furnace doors.
- Restore power to the furnace. It might proceed through a set of inspections before resuming usual operation. If your furnace doesn’t ignite, the sensor could need to be replaced or something else might be wrong. If this takes place, get in touch with us at 832-777-1521 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you are using an aging heating system, the pilot light could be extinguished. To relight it, locate the directions on a label on your heating system, or follow these recommendations.
- Locate the lever beneath your heating system that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Turn the switch to the “off” position.
- Take a break for at least five minutes to avoid starting a fire.
- Push the dial to “pilot.”
- Press the “reset” switch as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Release the “reset” switch once the pilot light is lit.
If you have followed the list twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or keep burning, call us at 832-777-1521 for furnace service.
Examine Your Gas Supply
Try switching on an additional gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas service could be shut off, or you may have run out of propane.