Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Examine the Thermostat
To begin, make sure your thermostat is signaling your heater to ignite.
- Swap out the batteries if the display is blank. If the digital display is messed up, the thermostat may need to be replaced.
- Make certain that the switch is switched to “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
- Make certain the program is displaying the correct day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having problems overriding the schedule, 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 a problem.
- Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees above the temperature of the room.
If your heater hasn’t started within a couple minutes, make certain that it has power by changing the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t operate, your furnace could be without power.
If you use a smart thermostat—for example one designed by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting is very model-specific. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for support. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to operate, contact us at 308-995-8177 for heating and cooling service.
2. Inspect Breakers and Switches
Next, confirm your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Look for your main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure where it is, look for a metallic metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Ensure your hands and feet aren’t wet before using the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker titled “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s turned “on.” If you find that the breaker tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” area.
- With one hand, steadily 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 an expert from Durable Service at 308-995-8177 right away.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one standard wall switch positioned on or close to it.
- Make certain the lever is flipped up in the “on” spot. If it was switched off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to start. (If you don’t know where your furnace is located, check your basement, garage or utility closet. It might also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Buy a New Air Filter
When we think about furnace breakdowns, a filthy, clogged air filter is regularly to blame.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your furnace won’t be able to stay on, or it may get too hot from reduced airflow.
- Your utility expenses could go up because your heat is working too often.
- Your heat may fail too soon due to the fact a dusty filter forces it to work overtime.
- Your heating system may be disconnected from power if an overly filthy filter results in a tripped breaker.
Depending on what make of heater you have, your air filter will be inside the blower compartment of your heating system, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To put in a new filter:
- Cut the power to your heater.
- Remove the filter and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t view light through it, get a new one.
- Insert the new filter with the arrow motioning toward the furnace to avoid damage.
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 in the future, write with a permanent marker on your furnace housing or ductwork to show the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Examine the Condensate Pan
Commonly known as drain pans, condensate pans catch moisture your furnace pulls from the air.
If water is seeping out of your heater 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 full. 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, check the float switch. If the switch can’t be moved from the “up” position with standing water in the pan, contact us at 308-995-8177, because you will probably have to buy a new pump.
5. Check for Heater Error Codes
If malfunctions persist, peek at your furnace’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Subject to the type, the light could also be mounted on the surface of your heater.
If you see anything else besides a solid, colored light or twinkling green light, call us at 308-995-8177 for HVAC service. Your heater may be emitting an error code that is calling for expert assistance.
6. Brush off the Flame Sensor
If your furnace attempts to operate but switches off without distributing warmth, a dusty flame sensor could be responsible. When this happens, your heating system will make an attempt to start three times before a safety mechanism powers it down for approximately an hour.
If you feel comfortable with removing the panels from your heating system, cleaning your flame sensor is work you can do yourself. Or, one of our heating service specialists is able to complete it for you.
If you are confident cleaning the sensor on your own, you require:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Piece of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A dry, clean paper towel
- Turn off the heating system’s power by using its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you have to switch off the gas in addition.
- Take off the heating system’s front panel and trace the wire to the flame sensor.
- Remove the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to lightly clean the metal rod.
- Wipe off the rod with a paper towel.
- Put the sensor back in.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Turn the furnace’s power back on. It might proceed through a set of checks before proceeding with regular operation. If your furnace doesn’t turn on, the sensor could need to be replaced or something else might be causing a problem. If this takes place, get in touch with us at 308-995-8177 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Reignite the Pilot Light
If you are using an older furnace, the pilot light could be turned off. To light it, look for the steps on a sheet on your furnace, or use these recommendations.
- Find the switch below 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.
- Move the dial to “pilot.”
- Hold down the “reset” switch as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Depress the “reset” lever once the pilot light is ignited.
If you have followed the list twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or stay lit, get in touch with us at 308-995-8177 for furnace service.
Inspect Your Energy Supply
Try switching on another gas appliance. If it doesn’t function, your natural gas delivery may be turned off, or you may have run out of propane.