Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Inspect the Thermostat
To begin, make sure your thermostat is telling your heat to turn on.
- Change the batteries if the monitor is blank. If the digital screen is jumbled, the thermostat could need to be swapped out.
- Make sure the button is set to “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
- Make sure the program is displaying the appropriate day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having a hard time turning off the program, regulate the temperature by using the up/down arrows and pressing the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to start if thermostat is causing an issue.
- Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees hotter than the temperature of the room.
If your heater hasn’t turned on within a few minutes, make sure it has electricity by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your heater could be without power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—for example one made by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will depend on your model. Check the manufacturer’s website for assistance. If you still can’t get your Wi-Fi thermostat to work, call us at 952-373-0377 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 silver metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet are dry prior to opening the panel or breakers.
- Find the breaker marked “furnace” or “heat,” and double-check it’s turned “on.” If you find that the breaker tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” spot.
- Moving one hand, steadily switch the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker instantly trips and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and get in touch with a team member from Gopher Heating and Air Conditioning at 952-373-0377 quickly.
It doesn’t matter how old your furnace is or what brand it is, it has at minimum one standard wall switch situated on or by it.
- Make sure the lever is moved up in the “on” position. If it was shut off, anticipate your furnace could take up to five minutes to turn on. (If you’re unaware of where to find your furnace, check your basement, garage or utility closet. It may also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Get a New Air Filter
When we consider heater problems, a dirty, blocked air filter is regularly the top culprit.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your heating system won’t be able to stay on, or it might get too warm from reduced airflow.
- Your utility costs could go up because your heating system is operating too often.
- Your heating system might stop working prematurely due to the fact a dusty filter forces it to work harder.
- Your heating system might be cut off from power if an overly dirty filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.
Based on what type of heating system you own, your air filter is located within the blower compartment of your heating system, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Cut the power to your heater.
- Pull out the filter and angle it toward the light. If you can’t view light through it, get a new one.
- Put in 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 might have to put in a new filter more often.
To make the process easier down the road, use a permanent writing tool on your furnace housing or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Check the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans catch water your furnace draws from the air.
If moisture is leaking out of your heating system or its pan is overflowing, try these recommendations.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it’s clear. If it should be drained, get a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware shops.
- If your pan uses a pump, take a look at the float switch. If the button can’t be moved from the “up” position with liquid in the pan, contact us at 952-373-0377, because you will possibly have to buy a new pump.
5. Watch for Heating Error Codes
If malfunctions continue, look at your heating system’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Depending on the model, the light could also be fixed on the outside of your heating system.
If you notice anything except a steady, colored light or twinkling green light, reach us at 952-373-0377 for HVAC service. Your heater may be communicating an error code that is calling for expert assistance.
6. Scrub the Flame Sensor
If your heating system tries to run but turns off without distributing heat, a dirty flame sensor might be to blame. When this takes place, your heater will try to start three times before a safety device powers it down for about an hour.
If you feel confident with opening up your heating system, cleaning your flame sensor is work you have the ability to do personally. Or, one of our heating service specialists is able to complete it for you.
If you want to clean the sensor yourself, you need:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Piece of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- An unused paper towel
As the next step:
- Shut off the heater’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.
- Take off the furnace’s front panel and follow the wire to the flame sensor.
- Unscrew the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to lightly clean the metal rod.
- Clear the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Secure the furnace doors.
- Turn the furnace’s power back on. It could proceed through a sequence of inspections before resuming normal heating. If your furnace doesn’t ignite, the sensor might need to be replaced or something else might be wrong. If this happens, get in touch with us at 952-373-0377 for heating and cooling repair help.
7. Reignite the Pilot Light
If you own an aging furnace, the pilot light could be turned off. To relight it, look for the instructions on a sticker on your heating system, or use these steps.
- Locate the lever on the bottom of your heating system marked “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Move the switch to the “off” position.
- Don’t do anything for at least five minutes to prevent creating a fire.
- Move the knob to “pilot.”
- Press the “reset” switch as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Let go of the “reset” button once the pilot light is lit.
If you have followed the list twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or stay ignited, call us at 952-373-0377 for furnace service.
Check Your Gas Source
Try using an additional gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas delivery could be switched off, or you might have run out of propane.