Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Examine the Thermostat
To start, ensure your thermostat is signaling your heater to ignite.
- Swap out the batteries if the display is not displaying anything. If the digital display is scrambled, the thermostat could need to be replaced.
- Make sure the button is on “heat” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
- Make sure the program is displaying the appropriate day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having problems turning off the program, set the temperature by using the up/down arrows and holding the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to ignite if thermostat is causing trouble.
- Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees hotter than what the room temperature currently is.
If your furnace hasn’t turned on within a few minutes, make sure it has electricity by moving the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your furnace might not have power.
If you use a smart thermostat—like one manufactured by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will depend on your model. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for support. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to operate, reach us at 201-579-2562 for heating and cooling service.
2. Check Breakers and Switches
Next, verify your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Find your main electrical panel. If you have no idea where it is, keep an eye out for a silver metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make certain that your hands and feet are dry before touching the panel or breakers.
- Look for the breaker marked “furnace” or “heat,” and ensure it’s moved to “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” area.
- Moving one hand, firmly flip the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker immediately trips and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and contact a team member from ACE Solutions at 201-579-2562 quickly.
It doesn’t matter how old your furnace is or what brand it is, it has no less than one ordinary wall switch located on or by it.
- Make sure the switch is facing up in the “on” position. If it was shut off, expect your furnace to take up to five minutes to turn on. (If you’re unsure where to locate your furnace, check your basement, garage or utility closet. It might also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Replace the Air Filter
When we think about heating issues, a grungy, clogged air filter is often the top offender.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your heater won’t be able to stay on, or it may get too hot from limited airflow.
- Your heating expenses might be higher because your heating system is operating more than it should.
- Your heat may stop working prematurely since a dusty filter causes it to work harder.
- Your heating may be cut off from power if an excessively filthy filter results in a tripped breaker.
While it depends on what model of heating system you have, your air filter will be in the interior of the blower compartment of your furnace, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To put in a new filter:
- Cut the power to your furnace.
- Pull out the filter and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, replace it.
- Install the new filter with the arrow facing toward the heating system to keep damage from happening.
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 replace your filter sooner.
To make changing your filter go more quickly down the line, use a permanent marker on your heating system housing or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Inspect the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans hold liquid your heating system pulls from the air.
If liquid is leaking out of your heater or its pan has too much water in it, use these recommendations.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it’s clear. If it requires draining, get a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware stores.
- If your pan uses a pump, check the float switch. If the button can’t be moved from the “up” position with standing water in the pan, contact us at 201-579-2562, because you will likely have to install a new pump.
5. Look for Furnace Error Codes
If failures keep on happening, take a look at your furnace’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Depending on the model, the light may also be fixed on the outside of your heater.
If you notice anything except an uninterrupted, colored light or flickering green light, call us at 201-579-2562 for HVAC service. Your furnace may be communicating an error code that requires specialized assistance.
6. Brush off the Flame Sensor
If your heating system tries to run but switches off without distributing heated air, a filthy flame sensor might be at fault. When this takes place, your heating system will make an attempt to start three times before a safety feature turns it off for around an hour.
If you feel comfortable with opening up your furnace, cleaning your flame sensor is a task you have the ability to do on your own. Or, one of our heating service professionals has the ability to do it for you.
If you want to clean the sensor yourself, you need:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A dry, clean paper towel
As the next step:
- Shut off the heater’s power by using its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you will need to shut off the gas along with it.
- Take off the heater’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 gently rub the metal rod.
- Wipe off the rod with a paper towel.
- Put the sensor back in.
- Replace the furnace doors.
- Turn the furnace’s power back on. It may go through a sequence of tests before proceeding with normal heating. If your heating system doesn’t turn on, the sensor could require replacement or something else might be causing a problem. If this happens, contact us at 201-579-2562 for heating and cooling repair support.
7. Reignite the Pilot Light
If you have an older heating system, the pilot light could be turned off. To relight it, find the instructions on a label on your furnace, or follow these recommendations.
- Find the toggle beneath your heater labeled “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Push the switch to the “off” position.
- Wait at least five minutes to avoid starting a fire.
- Turn the knob to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” switch as you move 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 tried the list twice and the pilot light still won’t light or keep ignited, call us at 201-579-2562 for furnace service.
Examine Your Energy Source
Try using a second gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas source could be shut off, or you might have run out of propane.