furnace repair

Waxahachie is Getting Cold, but My Furnace Wont Turn On

Fixing 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 couple of time-saving, reasonable fixes you can do yourself to skip 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 Waxahachie, C&C Refrigeration Inc. can assist you. We service most brands of heating systems.

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

While you’re talking with us, think about a routine furnace maintenance plan from C&C Refrigeration Inc. that may help you avoid problems in the future. We can tell you how frequently your furnace should be examined by one of our NATE-certified specialists.

Follow 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 signaling your furnace to ignite.

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” rather than “off” or “cool.”
  • Ensure the program is displaying 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 force the furnace to turn on 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 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. 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.

  • Locate 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 try to reset it and get in touch with a professional from C&C Refrigeration Inc. at 972-763-5448 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, it could take your furnace 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 problems, a filthy, clogged air filter is regularly to blame.

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 be higher because your furnace is turning on more often.
  • Your furnace could fail too soon because a dirty filter causes it to overwork.
  • Your furnace can be disconnected from 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.
  • Pull out the filter and angle 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 once a 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 put in a new filter more frequently.

To make the process easier 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

Commonly known as drain pans, condensate pans catch 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 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 C&C Refrigeration Inc. at 972-763-5448, because you will likely need a new pump.

Peek Inside Your Furnace

If malfunctions continue, take a 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 except a steady, colored light or blinking green light, call C&C Refrigeration Inc. at 972-763-5448. Your furnace may be giving an error code that needs professional assistance.

Clean the Flame Sensor

If your furnace tries to start but shuts off without blowing heat, a dirty flame sensor could be at fault. When this occurs, your furnace will make an 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 specialists at C&C Refrigeration 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.
  • Remove 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 may go through a sequence of checks before resuming usual operation. If your furnace doesn’t ignite, the sensor may need to be replaced or something else may be wrong. If this happens, contact C&C Refrigeration Inc. at 972-763-5448 for assistance.

Relight the Pilot Light

If you own 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.

  • 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 creating 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 C&C Refrigeration Inc. at 972-763-5448.

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.

C&C Refrigeration Inc. Can Help with Furnace Problems

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

Call us today at 972-763-5448 or use our online scheduler. We’ll come out and pinpoint the problem.

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