furnace repair

Kennesaw is Getting Cold, but My Furnace Wont Turn On

Figuring out a furnace-related problem might feel like an overwhelming job when your heat won’t turn on. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

There are several quick, inexpensive fixes you can do on your own 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 an expert and live in Kennesaw, Total Comfort Solutions can help you. We work on most makes of heating systems.

If you need a new heating system, we also offer furnace replacement in Kennesaw.

While you’re in touch with us, think over a regular furnace maintenance plan from Total Comfort Solutions that may help you avoid problems in the future. We can tell you how frequently your furnace should be checked by one of our NATE-certified specialists.

Go through 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

First, make sure your thermostat is instructing your furnace to turn on.

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” rather than “off” or “cool.”
  • Ensure the program is displaying the appropriate 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 cause 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 kicked on within few minutes, make sure it has power by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, 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.

  • Locate 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.
  • Look for 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 contact a professional from Total Comfort Solutions at 404-987-5502 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 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 breakdowns, a grungy, clogged air filter is regularly the top offender.

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

Depending on what make 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, use a new one.
  • Install 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 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

Also known as drain pans, condensate pans capture water your furnace draws 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 uses a pump, inspect the float switch. If the switch is stuck “up” with liquid in the pan, contact Total Comfort Solutions at 404-987-5502, 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 attached on the outside of your furnace.

If you see anything other than a steady, colored light or blinking green light, call Total Comfort Solutions at 404-987-5502. Your furnace may be emitting an error code that is calling for professional assistance.

Clean the Flame Sensor

If your furnace tries to start but shuts off without putting out heat, a dirty flame sensor could be to blame. 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 Total Comfort Solutions 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.
  • Lift 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 could proceed through a sequence of checks before proceeding with normal operation. If your furnace doesn’t start, the sensor may need to be replaced or something else might be wrong. If this happens, call Total Comfort Solutions at 404-987-5502 for assistance.

Relight the Pilot Light

If you are using 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.

  • Find 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 Total Comfort Solutions at 404-987-5502.

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.

Total Comfort Solutions Can Help with Furnace Problems

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

Call us today at 404-987-5502 or use our online scheduler. We’ll come out and figure out the problem.

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