Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Look at the Thermostat
To begin, make certain that your thermostat is signaling your heater to turn on.
- Change the batteries if the display is empty. If the digital monitor is messed up, the thermostat may need to be replaced.
- Make sure the switch is set to “heat” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
- Make sure the program is set to the correct day and time and is programmed to “run.” If you’re having a hard time getting out of the schedule, adjust the temperature with the up/down arrows and pressing the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to ignite if thermostat is causing a problem.
- Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than what the room temperature currently is.
If your furnace hasn’t turned on within several minutes, ensure it has juice by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your furnace may not have power.
If you have a smart thermostat—such as one manufactured 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 aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, reach us at 503-374-1934 for heating and cooling service.
2. Examine Breakers and Switches
Next, check if your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Look for your main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure where it is, look for a gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make certain that your hands and feet aren’t moist before using the panel or breakers.
- Look for the breaker titled “furnace” or “heat,” and double-check it’s reading “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
- Using one hand, quickly turn 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 a team member from Garoken Energy Co. Inc. at 503-374-1934 right away.
It doesn’t matter how old your furnace is or what brand it is, it has no less than one standard wall switch situated on or near it.
- Ensure the control is moved up in the “on” position. If it was turned off, expect your furnace to take up to five minutes to start. (If you’re unaware of where to locate your furnace, look in your basement, garage or utility closet. It can also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Get a New Air Filter
When we think about furnace breakdowns, a dirty, full air filter is often the top offender.
If your filter is too dusty:
- Your heat won’t be able to stay on, or it might get too hot from reduced airflow.
- Your gas expenses might be higher because your heating system is running more often.
- Your furnace could stop working prematurely since a dusty filter forces it to work overtime.
- Your heating can lose power if an extremely filthy filter causes the breaker to trip.
Based on what type of heating system you have, your air filter is located 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 furnace.
- Take out the filter and angle it toward the light. If you can’t view light through it, use a new one.
- Install the new filter with the arrow motioning toward the heating system to prevent damage.
Flat filters ought to be replaced every month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you could have to put in a new filter more often.
To make the procedure smoother down the road, use a permanent pen on your furnace housing or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Inspect the Condensate Pan
Commonly known as drain pans, condensate pans hold liquid your furnace pulls from the air.
If moisture is leaking from your heater or its pan has standing water in it, use these recommendations.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), make sure that it’s clear. If it requires draining, get a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware retailers.
- If your pan contains a pump, check the float switch. If the switch is stuck “up” with liquid in the pan, reach us at 503-374-1934, because you will possibly have to install a new pump.
5. Watch for Furnace Error Codes
If faults persist, peek at your heating system’s plastic window to check the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the model, the light may also be fixed on the outside of your heater.
If you notice anything except a steady, colored light or blinking green light, reach us at 503-374-1934 for HVAC service. Your heater could be giving an error code that needs pro service.
6. Brush off the Flame Sensor
If your heater makes an effort to work but turns off without blowing heat, a dusty flame sensor can be at fault. When this takes place, your heater will attempt to ignite three times before a safety device turns it off for about an hour.
If you feel comfortable with opening up your heating system, brushing off your flame sensor is a task you have the ability to do on your own. Or, one of our heating service professionals can complete it for you.
If you want to clean the sensor on your own, you require:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Section of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- An unused paper towel
As the next step:
- Turn off the furnace’s power with its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you must shut off the gas as well.
- Lift off the heater’s front panel and trace the wire to the flame sensor.
- Take off the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to carefully clean the metal rod.
- Clear the rod with a paper towel.
- Remount the sensor.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Switch the furnace’s power back on. It could go through a set of inspections before resuming regular operation. If your heating system doesn’t ignite, the sensor could need to be replaced or something else could be causing a problem. If this takes place, contact us at 503-374-1934 for heating and cooling repair help.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you are using an older furnace, the pilot light could be extinguished. To reignite it, find the guide on a sticker on your heating system, or try these steps.
- Locate the lever below your furnace that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Turn the switch to the “off” position.
- Wait 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.
- Release the “reset” button once the pilot light is burning.
If you have followed the instructions twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or keep lit, contact us at 503-374-1934 for furnace service.
Examine Your Fuel Supply
Try turning on an additional gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas source could be switched off, or you could be out of propane.