furnace repair

Bountiful is Getting Cold, but My Furnace Wont Turn On

Troubleshooting your furnace might feel like an intimidating task when your heat won’t turn on. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

There are a few fast, reasonable fixes you can do on your own to prevent 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 contacting an HVAC professional.

If you find you need help from someone who is experienced and live in Bountiful, Craig's Heating & Cooling can provide assistance to you. We service most types of heating systems.

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

While you’re talking with us, think about a routine furnace maintenance plan from Craig's Heating & Cooling that might help you avoid problems in the future. We can tell you how regularly your furnace should be examined by one of our NATE-certified professionals.

Use our easy guide below to get started on troubleshooting your furnace. Most of these steps don’t require mechanical know-how.

Steps for Furnace Troubleshooting

Check the Thermostat

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

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” instead of “off” or “cool.”
  • Ensure the program is showing the appropriate 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 turn on if thermostat programming is causing an issue.
  • Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than the room temperature.
Digital Thermostat

If your furnace hasn’t kicked on within few 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 might not have 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.

  • Find your house’s main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure 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,” don’t touch it and contact a professional from Craig's Heating & Cooling at 801-396-0372 right away.

Regardless of 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, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to turn on. (If you don’t know where to find your furnace, look in 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 frequently the top culprit.

If your filter is too dirty:

  • Your furnace won’t stay on, or it could overheat from restricted airflow.
  • Your energy bills could go up because your furnace is turning on more than it should.
  • Your furnace could fail too soon because a dirty filter causes it to work harder.
  • Your furnace can lose power if an extremely dirty filter causes the breaker to trip.

Depending on what type of furnace you own, 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, replace it.
  • Put in 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 put in a new filter more often.

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

Examine the Condensate Pan

Otherwise 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 get at home improvement or hardware stores.
  • If your pan contains a pump, take a look at the float switch. If the switch is stuck “up” with standing water in the pan, contact Craig's Heating & Cooling at 801-396-0372, 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 Craig's Heating & Cooling at 801-396-0372. Your furnace may be emitting an error code that needs professional help.

Clean the Flame Sensor

If your furnace tries to start but shuts off without distributing heat, a dirty flame sensor could be to blame. When this takes place, your furnace will try to turn on three times before a safety feature shuts it down for about an hour.

If you feel comfortable with opening up your furnace, cleaning your flame sensor is something you can do on your own. Or, one of our HVAC professionals at Craig's 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:

  • 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 carefully 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 sequence of checks before resuming 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, contact Craig's Heating & Cooling at 801-396-0372 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, contact Craig's Heating & Cooling at 801-396-0372.

Check Your Fuel Source

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

Craig's Heating & Cooling Can Help with Furnace Problems

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

Call us today at 801-396-0372 or use our online scheduler. We’ll come out and figure out the problem.

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