When your furnace breaks down, it can be a difficult time. It's a major appliance and one that may seem scary to try to repair on your own. There are a few troubleshooting tasks you can try yourself that aren't too daunting and that even the most novice homeowner can attempt. Try these things before calling out the furnace repairman to save you a few extra bucks.
Check For Power
Check the thermostat to see if there is power to the furnace. Be sure that the switch is turned to heat and that it is on. Listen for the furnace to turn on. If it doesn't, then check the breaker box to be sure there is power there as well. If you have power, move to the next step.
Change The Filter
Take a look at the air filter to see if it is dirty. If you aren't able to see any light through it, it's filthy and should be replaced. Install a new filter that is the same type and size. There are arrows on the filter; follow them to guide the filter back into the furnace. A dirty air filter can block air flow to your system and can cause it to shut down. Your filter should be changed every three months or sooner if you have a lot of dander in your home.
Check The Gas Valve
Be sure you have gas coming to your system. Check the gas valve so you have gas coming out. It could have been turned off in between seasons and you may not have turned it back on. See if this helps, if not, move on to the next step.
Clean The Furnace
Use a shop vacuum to clean the inside of your furnace to remove dust and other dander that has built up. All of this dust and dander can block air flow and can cause a premature breakdown.
Clean The Flame Sensor
If your furnace is turning on and turning off again, you may have a dirty flame sensor. To clean the flame sensor, turn the furnace off and find the flame sensor. It is located in the burner compartment. Use a piece of emery cloth and rub it on the flame sensor to remove any grime. When finished, test your furnace to see if it is working.
If you are still having problems, call a professional heating repair services. You may have a problem that could be out of your realm of knowledge, and it may be best to leave the tougher issues to a pro.