furnace repair

Bossier City is Getting Cold, but My Furnace Wont Turn On

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

There are a couple of time-saving, inexpensive fixes you can do by yourself 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 calling an HVAC professional.

If you find you need help from someone who is experienced and live in Bossier City, Central Aire Heating & A/C Inc can provide assistance to you. We service most types of heating systems.

If you’re ready for a new heating system, we also do furnace replacement in Bossier City.

While you’re talking with us, think about an annual furnace maintenance plan from Central Aire Heating & A/C Inc that may help you avoid problems in the future. We can tell you how frequently your furnace should be inspected by one of our NATE-certified experts.

Follow our easy guide below to get started on 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 signaling your furnace to ignite.

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” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
  • Ensure the program is showing the correct 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 make the furnace to start 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 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 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. Check 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, keep an eye out 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,” leave it alone and get in touch with a professional from Central Aire Heating & A/C Inc at 318-855-2326 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 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 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 dirty, clogged air filter is frequently to blame.

If your filter is too dirty:

  • Your furnace won’t be able to stay on, or it could overheat from restricted airflow.
  • Your energy bills could go up because your furnace is turning on more often.
  • Your furnace could break down sooner than it should because a dirty filter causes it to work overtime.
  • Your furnace can lose power if an extremely dirty filter causes the breaker to trip.

Depending on what model of furnace you have, 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.
  • Remove the filter and angle it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, use a new one.
  • Put in the new filter with the arrow pointing toward the furnace to avoid damage.

Flat filters should be replaced once a 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 replace your 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 draws from the air.

If water is dripping 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 clogged. If it needs to be drained, use a special pan-cleaning tablet you can get at home improvement or hardware stores.
  • If your pan uses a pump, check the float switch. If the switch is stuck “up” with water in the pan, contact Central Aire Heating & A/C Inc at 318-855-2326, because you will likely need a new pump.

Peek Inside Your Furnace

If malfunctions keep on happening, take a look inside your furnace’s plastic window to confirm 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 Central Aire Heating & A/C Inc at 318-855-2326. Your furnace may be communicating an error code that is calling for 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 occurs, 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 on your own. Or, one of our HVAC professionals at Central Aire Heating & A/C 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.
  • 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 could run through a series of checks before resuming normal operation. If your furnace doesn’t ignite, the sensor may need to be replaced or something else could be wrong. If this happens, contact Central Aire Heating & A/C Inc at 318-855-2326 for assistance.

Relight the Pilot Light

If you are using an older furnace, the pilot light could be extinguished. 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 creating a fire.
  • Turn the knob to “pilot.”
  • Press 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, call Central Aire Heating & A/C Inc at 318-855-2326.

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.

Central Aire Heating & A/C Inc Can Help with Furnace Problems

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

Call us today at 318-855-2326 or use our online scheduler. We’ll come out and figure out the problem.

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