Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Examine the Thermostat
To start, ensure your thermostat is signaling your heat to ignite.
- Replace the batteries if the monitor is empty. If the digital monitor is mixed up, the thermostat may need to be replaced.
- Make certain that the button is switched to “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Make sure the program is displaying the correct day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having a hard time turning off the program, set the temperature with the up/down arrows and using the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to turn on if thermostat is causing an issue.
- Turn the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than what the room temperature currently is.
If your heater hasn’t turned on within several minutes, make certain that it has electricity by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t begin to run, your heating system could be without power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—for example one made by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will be determined by the model you have. Check the manufacturer’s website for support. If you’re still unable to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to operate, call us at 209-257-3156 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 metallic metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make sure your hands and feet are dry prior to using the panel or breakers.
- Look for the breaker marked “furnace” or “heat,” and ensure it’s turned “on.” If the breaker has tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” spot.
- Using one hand, steadily switch the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker trips right away and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and get in touch with a professional from Tokay Heating and Air Conditioning at 209-257-3156 right away.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one regular wall switch situated on or near it.
- Make certain the lever is facing up in the “on” position. If it was turned off, anticipate your furnace could take up to five minutes to start. (If you’re unsure where your furnace is located, take a look at your basement, garage or utility closet. It might also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Get a New Air Filter
When it comes to heater issues, a filthy, blocked air filter is regularly the top offender.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your heat won’t keep heating your home, or it might get too hot from restricted airflow.
- Your energy costs could increase because your furnace is turning on more than it should.
- Your furnace could stop working prematurely since a filthy filter forces it to work harder.
- Your heating system may be disconnected from power if an extremely dirty filter causes the breaker to trip.
Based on what model of heater you use, your air filter can be found within the blower compartment of your heater, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To swap out your filter:
- Cut the power to your heating system.
- Take out the filter and angle it toward the light. If you can’t notice light through it, use a new one.
- Put in the new filter with the arrow motioning toward the furnace to keep damage from happening.
Flat filters should be replaced every month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you might have to replace your filter sooner.
To make the process smoother in the future, use a permanent marker on your heating system exterior or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Look at the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans hold water your heater removes from the air.
If liquid is seeping from your heater or its pan is overflowing, try these steps.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it isn’t full. If it needs to be drained, get a special pan-cleaning tablet you can get at home improvement or hardware retailers.
- If your pan uses a pump, inspect the float switch. If the button is jammed “up” with water in the pan, call us at 209-257-3156, because you will probably have to get a new pump.
5. Watch for Furnace Error Codes
If faults persist, look inside your furnace’s plastic window to check the blower motor’s status. Subject to the type, the light may also be mounted on the outside of your heater.
If you note anything except a steady, colored light or blinking green light, call us at 209-257-3156 for HVAC service. Your furnace could be emitting an error code that is calling for expert assistance.
6. Clean the Flame Sensor
If your heating system tries to start but shuts off without blowing heat, a dusty flame sensor could be at fault. When this occurs, your furnace will try to start three times before a safety feature powers it down for approximately an hour.
If you feel comfortable with opening up your heating system, gently scrubbing your flame sensor is a task you can do on your own. Or, one of our heating service experts is able to finish it for you.
If you are fine with cleaning the sensor on your own, you need:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Bit of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A dry, clean paper towel
- Shut off the furnace’s power with its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you will need to turn off the gas as well.
- Remove the heater’s front panel and track the wire to the flame sensor.
- Remove the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to carefully clean the metal rod.
- Wipe off the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Turn the furnace’s power back on. It may run through a series of tests before resuming regular operation. If your furnace doesn’t turn on, the sensor could require replacement or something else might be wrong. If this takes place, get in touch with us at 209-257-3156 for heating and cooling repair support.
7. Reignite the Pilot Light
If you are using an outdated heating system, the pilot light could be out. To light it, find the guide on a label on your heating system, or follow these recommendations.
- Look for the toggle on the bottom of your heater labeled “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Move the switch to the “off” position.
- Take a break for at least five minutes to avoid starting a fire.
- Push the knob to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” lever as you move the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Depress the “reset” switch once the pilot light is lit.
If you have used the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or keep burning, get in touch with us at 209-257-3156 for furnace service.
Examine Your Energy Delivery System
Try turning on an additional gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas source might be switched off, or you could be out of propane.