Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Inspect the Thermostat
First, ensure your thermostat is instructing your heat to ignite.
- Change the batteries if the display is blank. If the digital monitor is messed up, the thermostat could need to be swapped out.
- Make sure the control is set to “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
- Make sure the program is displaying the appropriate day and time and is programmed to “run.” If you’re having a hard time getting out of the setting, adjust the temperature by using the up/down arrows and holding 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 the temperature of the room.
If your heater hasn’t kicked on within several minutes, ensure it has electricity by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t operate, your heating system may not have power.
If you use a smart thermostat—such as 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 still can’t get your Wi-Fi thermostat to operate, call us at 319-229-2318 for heating and cooling service.
2. Examine Breakers and Switches
Next, verify your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Find your main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure where it is, keep an eye out for a gray 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 labeled “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.
- Using one hand, steadily flip 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 WM J Kraus & Son at 319-229-2318 immediately.
Regardless of your furnace’s age or brand, it has at minimum one standard wall switch set on or by it.
- Make certain the control is moved up in the “on” placement. If it was switched off, expect your furnace to take up to five minutes to turn on. (If you’re unsure where your furnace is located, look in your basement, garage or utility closet. It might also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Put in a New Air Filter
When we think about heating problems, a dirty, full air filter is regularly the top culprit.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your furnace won’t keep heating your home, or it could get too hot from reduced airflow.
- Your utility expenses could increase because your heating system is operating more often.
- Your heating system might break down prematurely because a filthy filter forces it to work harder.
- Your heating system may lose power if an overly dirty filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.
While it depends on what make of furnace you use, your air filter is located in the interior of the blower compartment of your heater, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To put in a new filter:
- Cut the power to your heater.
- Take out the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t notice light through it, replace it.
- Install the new filter with the arrow facing toward the heating system to prevent damage.
Flat filters need 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 smoother in the future, use a permanent marker on your heater exterior or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Check the Condensate Pan
Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans hold water your heating system pulls from the air.
If water is dripping from within 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), make sure that it isn’t clogged. If it requires draining, get a special pan-cleaning tablet you can purchase at home improvement or hardware retailers.
- If your pan contains a pump, take a look at the float switch. If the lever can’t be moved from the “up” position with water in the pan, call us at 319-229-2318, because you will possibly have to get a new pump.
5. Look for Heater Error Codes
If failures keep on happening, take a look inside your heating system’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Subject to the brand, the light might also be mounted on the outside of your heater.
If you note anything other than an uninterrupted, colored light or twinkling green light, reach us at 319-229-2318 for HVAC service. Your heater could be communicating an error code that requires pro help.
6. Brush off the Flame Sensor
If your heater tries to run but shuts off without distributing warmth, a dusty flame sensor might be at fault. When this occurs, your heater will make an attempt to start three times before a safety device shuts it down for about an hour.
If you feel confident with taking the panels off your heating system, brushing off your flame sensor is a task you are able to do personally. Or, one of our heating service specialists can finish it for you.
If you are fine with cleaning the sensor on your own, you require:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A dry, clean paper towel
- Disable the furnace’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If your furnace’s gas valve isn’t electric, you must turn off the gas along with it.
- Take off the heating system’s front panel and trace the wire to the flame sensor.
- Unscrew the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to lightly scrub the metal rod.
- Clear the rod with a paper towel.
- Put the sensor back in.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Switch the furnace’s power back on. It might go through a sequence of checks before resuming regular operation. If your heater doesn’t ignite, the sensor might require replacement or something else may be causing a problem. If this takes place, get in touch with us at 319-229-2318 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Relight the Pilot Light
If you own an outdated heater, the pilot light could be extinguished. To reignite it, look for the steps on a sticker on your furnace, or try these steps.
- Locate the lever beneath your heater marked “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Push the switch to the “off” position.
- Don’t do anything for at least five minutes to avoid starting a fire.
- Push the knob to “pilot.”
- Press the “reset” button 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 burning.
If you have tried the instructions twice and the pilot light still won’t light or keep lit, call us at 319-229-2318 for furnace service.
Check Your Fuel Delivery System
Try using an additional gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas source might be switched off, or you may have run out of propane.