furnace repair

Tucker is Getting Cold, but My Furnace Wont Turn On

Figuring out a furnace-related problem might feel like a daunting task when your heat won’t work. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

There are several time-saving, low-cost 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 Tucker, ACS Inc can assist you. We work on most types of heating systems.

If you need a new heating system, we also do furnace replacement in Tucker.

While you’re chatting with us, think over a regular furnace maintenance plan from ACS Inc that may help you avoid repairs in the future. We can tell you how regularly your furnace should be checked by one of our NATE-certified specialists.

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

First, make sure your thermostat is telling your furnace to start.

If you have a digital thermostat:

  • Swap out 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 set to the right day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having a hard time overriding the program, set the temperature by using the up/down arrows and press the “hold” button. This will force the furnace to start 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 started within a couple 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 may 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.

  • Look for your house’s main electrical panel. If you don’t know 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.
  • 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 ACS Inc at 770-450-1539 right away.

It doesn’t matter how old your furnace is or what brand it is, 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, 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 problems, a grungy, clogged air filter is often to blame.

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 increase because your furnace is turning on more than it should.
  • Your furnace could fail sooner than it should because a dirty filter causes it to work harder.
  • Your furnace can be cut off from power if an overly dirty filter causes the breaker to trip.

Depending on what make of furnace you own, your air filter is located 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 angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, get a new one.
  • Put in 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 use a washable filter that will last about 10 years. If you have children or pets, you may have to change your filter sooner.

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

Examine the Condensate Pan

Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans hold 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 uses a pump, check the float switch. If the switch is stuck “up” with standing water in the pan, contact ACS Inc at 770-450-1539, because you will likely need a new pump.

Peek Inside Your Furnace

If malfunctions persist, look inside your furnace’s plastic window to check 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 other than a steady, colored light or blinking green light, call ACS Inc at 770-450-1539. Your furnace may be communicating 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 responsible. When this happens, your furnace will attempt to start 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 ACS 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:

  • Shut 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 track 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 could proceed through a set of checks before proceeding with normal operation. If your furnace doesn’t turn on, the sensor may need to be replaced or something else might be wrong. If this happens, get in touch with ACS Inc at 770-450-1539 for assistance.

Relight the Pilot Light

If you own 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.

  • 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 starting 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 ACS Inc at 770-450-1539.

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.

ACS Inc Can Help with Furnace Problems

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

Call us today at 770-450-1539 or use our online scheduler. We’ll come out and diagnose the problem.

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