Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Examine the Thermostat
First, make certain that your thermostat is instructing your heat to ignite.
- Swap out the batteries if the screen is empty. If the digital screen is scrambled, the thermostat could need to be changed.
- Ensure the button is switched to “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Ensure the program is set to the correct day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having problems turning off 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 a problem.
- Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees above what the room temperature currently is.
If your heating hasn’t kicked on within several minutes, make certain that it has power by changing the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your furnace could be without power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—like one designed by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will depend on your model. Take a look at the manufacturer’s website for support. If you’re still unable to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to work, reach us at 805-203-8667 for heating and cooling service.
2. Inspect Breakers and Switches
Next, confirm your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Locate your main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure where it is, search for a metallic metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet aren’t moist prior to using the panel or breakers.
- Look for the breaker marked “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s turned “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
- With one hand, firmly 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 contact an expert from Paso Robles Heating and Air at 805-203-8667 immediately.
Regardless of your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one ordinary wall switch located on or near it.
- Ensure the control is flipped up in the “on” placement. If it was turned off, expect your furnace to take up to five minutes to ignite. (If you’re unaware of where to find your furnace, take a look at your basement, garage or utility closet. It can also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Replace the Air Filter
When it comes to heating issues, a filthy, full air filter is regularly to blame.
If your filter is too grungy:
- Your heater won’t stay on, or it could get too warm from limited airflow.
- Your utility costs could be higher because your furnace is working more than it should.
- Your heater may break down too soon because a dusty filter causes it to work harder.
- Your heating system might be disconnected from power if an overly clogged filter causes the breaker to trip.
Depending on what model of heater you own, your air filter is located 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.
- Pull out the filter and angle it toward the light. If you can’t notice light through it, use a new one.
- Insert the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the heating system to keep damage from happening.
Flat filters need to be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you could have to change your filter more often.
To make the process smoother down the road, use a permanent writing tool on your furnace outside or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Check the Condensate Pan
Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans catch liquid your furnace pulls from the air.
If water is dripping from within your heater or its pan is overflowing, use these steps.
- If your pan includes a drain (look for a PVC pipe), make sure that it isn’t clogged. If it should be drained, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware shops.
- If your pan contains a pump, inspect the float switch. If the button can’t be moved from the “up” position with water in the pan, call us at 805-203-8667, because you will probably have to buy a new pump.
5. Check for Heater Error Codes
If faults continue, look at your heating system’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Depending on the model, the light may also be mounted on the surface of your heating system.
If you notice anything other than a steady, colored light or twinkling green light, reach us at 805-203-8667 for HVAC service. Your heater may be emitting an error code that is calling for specialized help.
6. Brush off the Flame Sensor
If your furnace makes an effort to run but shuts off without distributing warmth, a filthy flame sensor might be at fault. When this happens, your heating system will make an attempt to turn on three times before a safety feature turns it off for approximately an hour.
If you feel okay with taking the panels off your furnace, gently scrubbing your flame sensor is a job you have the ability to do yourself. Or, one of our heating service specialists has the ability to finish it for you.
If you want to clean the sensor yourself, you should have:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Piece of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A dry, clean paper towel
As the next step:
- Disable the heating system’s power with its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you will need to shut off the gas as well.
- Lift off the furnace’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 lightly rub the metal rod.
- Clear the rod with a paper towel.
- Remount the sensor.
- Replace the furnace doors.
- Restore power to the furnace. It might proceed through a series of checks before proceeding with regular operation. If your heating system doesn’t ignite, the sensor could need to be replaced or something else might be wrong. If this occurs, contact us at 805-203-8667 for heating and cooling repair support.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you own an older furnace, the pilot light could be turned off. To relight it, look for the guide on a sheet on your furnace, or try these guidelines.
- Locate the switch beneath your heating system that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Move the switch to the “off” position.
- Wait at least five minutes to avoid sparking a fire.
- Move the dial to “pilot.”
- Press the “reset” switch as you move the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Release the “reset” switch once the pilot light is ignited.
If you have gone through the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or remain burning, get in touch with us at 805-203-8667 for furnace service.
Check Your Energy Supply
Try turning on another gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas source might be turned off, or you could be out of propane.