furnace repair

Plover is Getting Cold, but My Furnace Wont Turn On

Troubleshooting your furnace might feel like an overwhelming chore when your heat won’t start. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

There are a couple of quick, inexpensive fixes you can do yourself to avoid a furnace repair call.

If your furnace won’t turn on, won’t stay on or won’t ignite, try the troubleshooting list below before calling an HVAC professional.

If you find you need help from someone who is experienced and live in Plover, Point Heating & Cooling can help you. We work on most makes of heating systems.

If it’s time for a new heating system, we also offer furnace replacement in Plover.

While you’re talking with us, consider a regular furnace maintenance plan from Point Heating & Cooling that might help you avoid repairs in the future. We can tell you how often your furnace should be checked by one of our NATE-certified experts.

Go through our easy guide below to start troubleshooting your furnace. Most of these steps don’t require mechanical abilities.

Steps for Furnace Troubleshooting

Check the Thermostat

To begin, make sure your thermostat is telling your furnace to start.

If you have a digital thermostat:

  • Replace the batteries if the screen is blank. If the digital screen is jumbled, the thermostat may need to be replaced.
  • Make sure the switch is set to “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
  • Ensure the program is showing the correct day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having trouble overriding the program, set the temperature by using the up/down arrows and press the “hold” button. This will make the furnace to ignite if thermostat programming is causing a problem.
  • Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than the room temperature.
Digital Thermostat

If your furnace hasn’t turned on within several minutes, make sure it has power by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t begin to run, your furnace could be without power.

If you have 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 help. If you still can’t get your Wi-Fi thermostat to work, contact us for assistance.

Lennox Smart Thermostat

Examine Breakers and Switches

Next, you will need to check if your breaker and furnace switch are on.

  • Look for your house’s main electrical panel. If you have no idea where it is, look for a gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
  • Make sure your hands and feet are dry before touching the panel or breakers.
  • Find the breaker labeled “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s switched “on.” If the breaker has tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
  • Using one hand, firmly switch the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker immediately trips and pops back to “off,” don’t touch it and get in touch with a professional from Point Heating & Cooling at 715-504-0533 right away.

No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has at least one standard wall switch located on or by it.

  • Make sure the switch is flipped up in the “on” position. If it was turned off, expect your furnace to take up to five minutes to turn on. (If you don’t know where to find your furnace, check your basement, garage or utility closet. It could also be in a crawl space or attic.)

Replace Your Furnace’s Air Filter

When it comes to furnace problems, a filthy, clogged air filter is regularly the top culprit.

If your filter is too dirty:

  • Your furnace won’t be able to stay on, or it could overheat from reduced airflow.
  • Your energy bills could go up because your furnace is turning on more often.
  • Your furnace could break down too soon because a dirty filter causes it to overwork.
  • Your furnace can lose power if an overly dirty filter causes the breaker to trip.

Depending on what type of furnace you use, your air filter will be inside the blower compartment of your furnace, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.

Replacing a furnace filter

To replace your filter:

  • Turn off your furnace.
  • Pull out the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light through it, replace it.
  • Insert the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the furnace to avoid damage.

Flat filters should be replaced every month, while pleated filters should last about three months. You can also get a washable filter that will last about 10 years. If you have children or pets, you may have to change your filter more often.

To make the process easier in the future, use a permanent marker on your furnace housing or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.

Examine the Condensate Pan

Also known as drain pans, condensate pans hold water your furnace draws from the air.

If water is leaking out of your furnace or its pan has standing water in it, follow these steps.

  • If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), check that it’s clear. If it needs to be drained, use a special pan-cleaning tablet you can purchase at home improvement or hardware stores.
  • If your pan has a pump, check the float switch. If the switch is stuck “up” with liquid in the pan, contact Point Heating & Cooling at 715-504-0533, because you will possibly need a new pump.

Peek Inside Your Furnace

If malfunctions persist, peek inside your furnace’s plastic window to verify the status of the blower motor. Depending on the model, the light could also be mounted on the outside of your furnace.

If you see anything else besides a steady, colored light or blinking green light, call Point Heating & Cooling at 715-504-0533. Your furnace may be communicating an error code that needs professional assistance.

Clean the Flame Sensor

If your furnace tries to start but turns off without putting out heat, a dirty flame sensor could be at fault. When this happens, your furnace will attempt to start three times before a safety feature turns it off for about an hour.

If you feel comfortable with opening up your furnace, cleaning your flame sensor is something you can do by yourself. Or, one of our HVAC experts at Point Heating & Cooling can do it for you.

If you want to clean the sensor yourself, you’ll need:

  • A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
  • Piece of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
  • A dry, clean paper towel

Next:

  • Turn off the furnace’s power by using its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve is not electric, you will need to shut off the gas as well.
  • Lift off the furnace’s front panel and follow the wire to the flame sensor.
  • Unscrew 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.
  • Remount the sensor.
  • Replace the furnace doors.
  • Turn the furnace’s power back on. It might proceed through a series of checks before proceeding with usual operation. If your furnace doesn’t turn on, the sensor may need to be replaced or something else could be wrong. If this happens, get in touch with Point Heating & Cooling at 715-504-0533 for assistance.

Relight the Pilot Light

If you have an older furnace, the pilot light could be out. To relight it, find the instructions on a label on your furnace, or follow these steps.

  • Look for the switch on the bottom of your furnace labeled “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
  • Turn the switch to the “off” position.
  • Wait at least five minutes to avoid possibly sparking a fire.
  • Turn the knob to “pilot.”
  • Push the “reset” button as you bring the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
  • Release the “reset” button once the pilot light is lit.

If you have followed the instructions twice and the pilot light still won’t light or stay lit, get in touch with Point Heating & Cooling at 715-504-0533.

Check Your Fuel Source

Try switching on another gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas service could be turned off, or you could be out of propane.

Point Heating & Cooling Can Help with Furnace Problems

Followed our troubleshooting guide but your furnace still won’t work?

Call us today at 715-504-0533 or use our online scheduler. We’ll come out and figure out the problem.

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