Furnace Repair Checklist
1. Inspect the Thermostat
First, make certain that your thermostat is signaling your heater to ignite.
- Replace the batteries if the display is blank. If the digital display is scrambled, the thermostat could need to be replaced.
- Ensure the button is on “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Ensure the program is set to the right day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having a hard time overriding the setting, set the temperature by utilizing the up/down arrows and pressing the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to start if thermostat is causing an issue.
- Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees hotter than what the room temperature currently is.
If your heating 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 heating system might not have power.
If you utilize a smart thermostat—for example one designed by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting is very model-specific. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for assistance. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, reach us at 204-272-8128 for heating and cooling service.
2. Inspect Breakers and Switches
Next, confirm your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Find your main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure where it is, look for a metallic metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make certain that your hands and feet aren’t wet in advance of using the panel or breakers.
- Locate the breaker titled “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s turned “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” area.
- With one hand, firmly turn 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 Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning at 204-272-8128 immediately.
It doesn’t matter how old your furnace is or what brand it is, it has no less than one standard wall switch located on or near it.
- Ensure the switch is facing up in the “on” placement. If it was shut off, anticipate your furnace could take up to five minutes to turn on. (If you’re unsure where to find your furnace, check your basement, garage or utility closet. It could also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Replace the Air Filter
When we think about furnace problems, a dirty, clogged air filter is regularly the top offender.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your heating system won’t stay on, or it may get too hot from restricted airflow.
- Your energy expenses may increase because your heat is working more than it should.
- Your heat could break down prematurely because a dirty filter triggers it to work harder.
- Your furnace may lose power if an overly clogged filter results in a tripped breaker.
While it depends on what type of heater you have, your air filter is located within the blower compartment of your heating system, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Switch off your heater.
- Take out the filter and angle it toward the light. If you can’t notice light through it, use a new one.
- Insert the new filter with the arrow facing toward the heater to avoid damage.
Flat filters ought to be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should last about three months. If you have children or pets, you might have to change your filter sooner.
To make the process easier in the future, write with a permanent pen on your heater exterior or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Inspect the Condensate Pan
Commonly known as drain pans, condensate pans capture liquid your furnace draws from the air.
If liquid is seeping out of your heater or its pan has standing water in it, follow these recommendations.
- If your pan includes a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it isn’t full. If it requires draining, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can purchase at home improvement or hardware stores.
- If your pan has a pump, inspect the float switch. If the switch can’t be moved from the “up” position with liquid in the pan, call us at 204-272-8128, because you will possibly have to install a new pump.
5. Check for Heater Error Codes
If faults continue, take a look at your heating system’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the model, the light could also be mounted on the exterior of your heater.
If you note anything else besides a solid, colored light or twinkling green light, contact us at 204-272-8128 for HVAC service. Your furnace might be emitting an error code that needs specialized assistance.
6. Brush off the Flame Sensor
If your heating system makes an effort to operate but shuts off without blowing warm air, a filthy flame sensor could be to blame. When this occurs, your heating system will attempt to ignite three times before a safety feature powers it down for approximately an hour.
If you feel confident with opening up your furnace, brushing off your flame sensor is a job you are able to do personally. Or, one of our heating service experts is able to finish it for you.
If you want to clean the sensor personally, you need:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Section of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- An unused paper towel
- Shut off the furnace’s power with its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you will need to switch off the gas along with it.
- Take off the furnace’s front panel and trace the wire to the flame sensor.
- Unscrew the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to gently clean the metal rod.
- Wipe off the rod with a paper towel.
- Remount the sensor.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Restore power to the furnace. It could go through a set of checks before proceeding with normal operation. If your heating system doesn’t turn on, the sensor could require replacement or something else might be wrong. If this happens, contact us at 204-272-8128 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Reignite the Pilot Light
If you are using an older heater, the pilot light could be extinguished. To light it, look for the instructions on a sticker on your furnace, or use these recommendations.
- Locate the lever below your heater marked “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Push the switch to the “off” position.
- Wait at least five minutes to limit the possibility for starting a fire.
- Turn the knob to “pilot.”
- Press the “reset” lever as you bring the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Depress the “reset” button once the pilot light is lit.
If you have gone through the list twice and the pilot light still won’t light or keep lit, get in touch with us at 204-272-8128 for furnace service.
Examine Your Gas Supply
Try switching on another gas appliance. If it doesn’t function, your natural gas source could be turned off, or you might have run out of propane.