furnace repair

Abilene is Getting Cold, but My Furnace Wont Turn On

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

There are several fast, reasonable 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 getting in touch with an HVAC professional.

If you find you need help from someone who is experienced and live in Abilene, Abilene Air-Tech Inc can assist you. We service most brands of heating systems.

If you need a new heating system, we also provide furnace replacement in Abilene.

While you’re talking with us, consider a routine furnace maintenance plan from Abilene Air-Tech Inc that may help you avoid problems in the future. We can tell you how often your furnace should be inspected by one of our NATE-certified professionals.

Follow our easy guide below to get to work on troubleshooting your furnace. Most of these steps don’t require mechanical skills.

Steps for Furnace Troubleshooting

Check the Thermostat

To begin, make sure your thermostat is signaling your furnace to turn on.

If you have a digital thermostat:

  • Change 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” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
  • Ensure the program is set to the right day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having problems overriding the program, set the temperature by using the up/down arrows and press the “hold” button. This will force 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 kicked on within a couple minutes, make sure it has power by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t 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. Take a look at 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.

  • Find your house’s main electrical panel. If you have no idea where it is, search 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.
  • Locate 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,” leave it alone and call a professional from Abilene Air-Tech Inc at 325-200-4667 right away.

No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has at least one standard wall switch located on or close to 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 start. (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 issues, a filthy, clogged air filter is regularly the top offender.

If your filter is too dirty:

  • Your furnace won’t keep heating your home, or it could overheat from limited airflow.
  • Your energy bills could go up because your furnace is turning on more than it should.
  • Your furnace could break down prematurely because a dirty filter causes it to work harder.
  • Your furnace can be cut off from power if an extremely dirty filter causes the breaker to trip.

Depending on what make of furnace 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.

Replacing a furnace filter

To replace your filter:

  • Turn off your furnace.
  • Take out the filter and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, use a new one.
  • Insert the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the furnace to avoid damage.

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

To make the process go more quickly 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

Commonly known as drain pans, condensate pans capture water your furnace pulls from the air.

If water is seeping 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 isn’t full. If it needs to be drained, use a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware stores.
  • If your pan contains a pump, inspect the float switch. If the switch is stuck “up” with water in the pan, contact Abilene Air-Tech Inc at 325-200-4667, because you will probably need a new pump.

Peek Inside Your Furnace

If malfunctions keep on happening, peek inside your furnace’s plastic window to check the status of the blower motor. Depending on the model, the light could also be fixed on the outside of your furnace.

If you see anything except a steady, colored light or blinking green light, call Abilene Air-Tech Inc at 325-200-4667. Your furnace may be communicating an error code that needs professional service.

Clean the Flame Sensor

If your furnace tries to start but shuts off without distributing heat, a dirty flame sensor could be at fault. When this happens, your furnace will make an attempt to turn on 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 yourself. Or, one of our HVAC professionals at Abilene Air-Tech Inc 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:

  • Disable 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.
  • 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 lightly 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 go through a sequence of checks before resuming regular operation. If your furnace doesn’t ignite, the sensor may need to be replaced or something else may be wrong. If this happens, call Abilene Air-Tech Inc at 325-200-4667 for assistance.

Relight the Pilot Light

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

  • Locate 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.”
  • Hold down 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 Abilene Air-Tech Inc at 325-200-4667.

Check Your Fuel Source

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

Abilene Air-Tech Inc Can Help with Furnace Problems

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

Call us today at 325-200-4667 or use our online scheduler. We’ll come out and diagnose the problem.

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