1. Look at the Thermostat
To begin, make certain that your thermostat is signaling your heater to start.
- Replace the batteries if the display is not displaying anything. If the digital screen is messed up, the thermostat could need to be swapped out.
- Make certain that the switch is on “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
- Make sure the program is displaying the correct day and time and is programmed to “run.” If you’re having trouble getting out of the schedule, adjust the temperature with the up/down arrows and pressing the “hold” button. This will force the heater to start if thermostat scheduling is an issue.
- Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees above the temperature of the room.
If your furnace hasn’t kicked on within several minutes, make certain that it has juice by switching the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t begin to run, your heating system could be without power.
If you use a smart thermostat—like one made by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting is very model-specific. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for assistance. If you’re still unable to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to operate, reachl us at 610-257-7035 for heating and cooling service.
2. Inspect Breakers and Switches
Next, you should check if your breaker and furnace switch are on.
- Find your house’s main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure where it is, search for a metallic metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
- Make sure your hands and feet aren’t wet before using the panel or breakers.
- Look for the breaker labeled “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s reading “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” area.
- Using one hand, firmly turn the breaker to the “on” location. If the breaker immediately trips and pops back to “off,” leave it alone and contact an expert from O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning at 610-257-7035 right away.
It doesn’t matter how old your furnace is or what brand it is, it has at minimum one standard wall switch situated on or close to it.
- Make certain the control is flipped up in the “on” position. If it was shut off, expect your furnace to take up to five minutes to start. (If you’re unaware of where your furnace is located, check your basement, garage or utility closet. It can also be in a crawl space or attic.)
3. Replace the Air Filter
When it comes to heater problems, a dirty, full air filter is frequently the top culprit.
If your filter is too dirty:
- Your heating system won’t keep heating your home, or it may get too warm from limited airflow.
- Your gas expenses could go up because your heating system is turning on too often.
- Your furnace could break down too soon because a dirty filter triggers it to overwork.
- Your heating can be disconnected from power if an overly filthy filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.
Depending on what make of furnace you use, your air filter can be found in the interior of the blower compartment of your furnace, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.
To replace your filter:
- Turn off your heater.
- Remove the filter and angle it toward the light. If you can’t notice light through it, use a new one.
- Put in the new filter with the arrow motioning toward the heating system to avoid damage.
Flat filters need to be replaced monthly, while pleated filters should work somewhere in the vicinity of three months. You can also use a washable filter that you can use for about 10 years. If you have children or pets, you could have to replace your filter more often.
To make the procedure go more quickly down the line, use a permanent writing tool on your heater exterior or ductwork to show the airflow direction and filter size.
4. Inspect the Condensate Pan
Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans hold water your furnace draws from the air.
If liquid is dripping out of your furnace or its pan is overflowing, try these guidelines.
- If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it isn’t clogged. If it requires draining, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can get at home improvement or hardware stores.
- If your pan has a pump, take a look at the float switch. If the switch is stuck “up” with standing water in the pan, reach us at 610-257-7035, because you will probably have to get a new pump.
5. Watch for Furnace Error Codes
If malfunctions keep on happening, take a look at your heating system’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Depending on the brand, the light might also be mounted on the outside of your heating system.
If you see anything except an uninterrupted, colored light or flickering green light, reach us at 610-257-7035 for HVAC service. Your heater could be emitting an error code that is calling for pro help.
6. Clean the Flame Sensor
If your furnace makes an effort to operate but shuts off without putting out heated air, a filthy flame sensor can be at fault. When this occurs, your furnace will try to start three times before a safety feature powers it down for about an hour.
If you feel comfortable with taking the panels off your furnace, gently scrubbing your flame sensor is a task you have the ability to do yourself. Or, one of our heating service specialists can do it for you.
If you want to clean the sensor on your own, you need:
- A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
- Section of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
- A dry, clean paper towel
As the next step:
- Turn off the furnace’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If your furnace’s gas valve isn’t electric, you have to shut off the gas in addition.
- Remove the heating system’s front panel and follow the wire to the flame sensor.
- Remove the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to gently scrub the metal rod.
- Clean the rod with a paper towel.
- Screw the sensor back in.
- Put the furnace doors back on.
- Turn the furnace’s power back on. It may run through a set of tests before proceeding with usual heating. If your heater doesn’t turn on, the sensor may have to be replaced or something else could be wrong. If this takes place, get in touch with us at 610-257-7035 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
7. Reignite the Pilot Light
If you have an aging furnace, the pilot light could be out. To reignite it, find the directions on a sticker on your heating system, or follow these steps.
- Look for the toggle beneath your heating system marked “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
- Turn the switch to the “off” position.
- Wait at least five minutes to limit the possibility for creating a fire.
- Move the switch to “pilot.”
- Push the “reset” button as you bring the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
- Depress the “reset” switch once the pilot light is burning.
If you have gone through the instructions twice and the pilot light still won’t light or keep lit, get in touch with us at 610-257-7035 for furnace service.
Double-Check Your Fuel Supply
Try turning on another gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas delivery may be switched off, or you may have run out of propane.