furnace repair

Tomball is Getting Cold, but My Furnace Wont Turn On

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

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

If you find you need help from someone who is experienced and live in Tomball, Premium Air Services LLC can assist you. We service most brands of heating systems.

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

While you’re in touch with us, think over a regular furnace maintenance plan from Premium Air Services LLC that could help you avoid breakdowns in the future. We can tell you how regularly your furnace should be inspected by one of our NATE-certified professionals.

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

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 displaying 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 kicked on within several 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.

  • 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.
  • 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,” don’t try to reset it and get in touch with a professional from Premium Air Services LLC at 713-364-9957 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, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to start. (If you don’t know where to find your furnace, take a look at 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 dirty, clogged air filter is regularly the top culprit.

If your filter is too dirty:

  • Your furnace won’t keep heating your home, or it could overheat from restricted airflow.
  • Your energy bills could increase because your furnace is turning on too often.
  • Your furnace could stop working prematurely because a dirty filter causes it to overwork.
  • 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 use, 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.
  • Remove the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t see light through it, get a new one.
  • Install 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 get 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 go more quickly 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

Also known as drain pans, condensate pans catch water your furnace removes 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 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 Premium Air Services LLC at 713-364-9957, because you will likely need a new pump.

Peek Inside Your Furnace

If malfunctions continue, 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 else besides a steady, colored light or blinking green light, call Premium Air Services LLC at 713-364-9957. Your furnace may be emitting an error code that requires professional assistance.

Clean the Flame Sensor

If your furnace tries to start but shuts off without distributing heat, a dirty flame sensor could be at fault. When this happens, your furnace will make an attempt to turn on three times before a safety feature powers it down 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 experts at Premium Air Services LLC 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.
  • Remove 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 series of checks before continuing regular operation. If your furnace doesn’t ignite, the sensor may need to be replaced or something else might be wrong. If this happens, get in touch with Premium Air Services LLC at 713-364-9957 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.

  • 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 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 Premium Air Services LLC at 713-364-9957.

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.

Premium Air Services LLC Can Help with Furnace Problems

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

Call us today at 713-364-9957 or use our online scheduler. We’ll come out and figure out the problem.

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