Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Inspect the Thermostat
To begin, make certain that your thermostat is telling your heat to start.
- Replace the batteries if the display is not displaying anything. If the digital screen is scrambled, the thermostat may need to be changed.
- Make certain that the switch is switched to “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
- Ensure the program is showing the correct day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having a hard time getting out of the schedule, set the temperature by using the up/down arrows and using the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to start if thermostat is causing an issue.
- Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees above the temperature of the room.
If your furnace hasn’t kicked on within a few minutes, make certain that it has electricity by switching the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t operate, your heater may not have power.
If you have a smart thermostat—like one manufactured by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will be determined by the model you have. Check the manufacturer’s website for assistance. If you still can’t get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, call us at 507-387-6596 for heating and cooling service.
2. Inspect Breakers and Switches
Next, check if your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Look for your main electrical panel. If you don’t know where it is, keep an eye out for a gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make certain that your hands and feet are dry before opening the panel or breakers.
- Look for the breaker marked “furnace” or “heat,” and ensure it’s turned “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” area.
- Using one hand, firmly switch the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker instantly trips and pops back to “off,” don't try to reset it and call an expert from Northern Comfort Inc at 507-387-6596 quickly.
No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has no less than one standard wall switch located on or close to it.
- Make sure the control is flipped up in the “on” spot. If it was turned off, anticipate your furnace could take up to five minutes to ignite. (If you’re unaware of where to find your furnace, look in your basement, garage or utility closet. It may also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Get a New Air Filter
When we think about heater breakdowns, a filthy, full air filter is often the top culprit.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your heater won’t be able to stay on, or it could overheat from reduced airflow.
- Your gas expenses could increase because your heater is switching on more than it should.
- Your heating system may stop working prematurely since a dirty filter triggers it to work overtime.
- Your heater may be disconnected from power if an excessively filthy filter causes the breaker to trip.
While it depends on what type of heater you have, your air filter can be found inside the blower compartment of your furnace, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Switch off your furnace.
- Remove the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t view light through it, use a new one.
- Insert the new filter with the arrow motioning toward the heater to avoid damage.
Flat filters ought to be replaced once a month, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you may have to put in a new filter sooner.
To make changing your filter easier in the future, use a permanent pen on your heating system housing or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Look at the Condensate Pan
Also known as drain pans, condensate pans catch water your heater pulls from the air.
If water is seeping from within your heater or its pan has standing water in it, follow these guidelines.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), make sure 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 shops.
- If your pan uses a pump, take a look at the float switch. If the lever can’t be moved from the “up” position with liquid in the pan, reach us at 507-387-6596, because you will possibly need a new pump.
5. Look for Heater Error Codes
If failures persist, look inside your heater’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Subject to the type, the light might also be mounted on the exterior of your furnace.
If you note anything except a solid, colored light or blinking green light, contact us at 507-387-6596 for HVAC service. Your furnace may be emitting an error code that is calling for specialized service.
6. Scrub the Flame Sensor
If your heating system attempts to work but turns off without blowing warmth, a dusty flame sensor might be at fault. When this takes place, your heater will make an attempt to start three times before a safety device shuts it down for about an hour.
If you feel okay with removing the panels from your heater, gently scrubbing your flame sensor is a task you can do personally. Or, one of our heating service specialists is able to complete it for you.
If you want to clean the sensor on your own, you should have:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Section of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A fresh paper towel
- Disable the heating system’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you have to switch off the gas along with it.
- Remove the heating system’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 scrub the metal rod.
- Wipe off the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Replace the furnace doors.
- Restore power to the furnace. It may go through a series of checks before proceeding with regular heating. If your heating system doesn’t ignite, 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 507-387-6596 for heating and cooling repair support.
7. Light the Pilot Light
If you own an aging furnace, the pilot light could be extinguished. To relight it, find the instructions on a sheet on your heater, or follow these steps.
- Look for the toggle below your heater marked “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Turn the switch to the “off” position.
- Take a break for at least five minutes to avoid sparking a fire.
- Move the knob to “pilot.”
- Press the “reset” switch as you bring the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Release the “reset” switch once the pilot light is burning.
If you have followed the guide twice and the pilot light still won’t light or remain lit, get in touch with us at 507-387-6596 for furnace service.
Double-Check Your Gas Supply
Try switching on a second gas appliance. If it doesn’t function, your natural gas source could be shut off, or you might have run out of propane.