Before You Call The Repairman - Check These First

It sounds unbelievable, but 20-30% of calls to the repairman are due to very simple and overlooked things that you should check first before calling
anyone.
Before you start any major work on a heating or cooling system, take these simple preliminary steps first:

1) Is your filter dirty?
A dirty filter is the #1 reason for your furnace to stop working due to overheating. In fact, it's responsible for a whopping 90% of all furnace problems!
Simply change the filter and then
if the unit has a reset button, marked
"RESET"  near the motor housing, wait 30 minutes to let the motor cool, then turn the power off to the furnace
and...

2) ...press the reset button
If the unit still doesn't start, wait 30 minutes and press the reset button again. Repeat at least once more. By hitting the reset button this may fix any
problem that you are having with your gas furnace. If your unit continues to not work properly after resetting it, then you will need to call a service
technician

3) Is your door cover on correctly?
If it is not on just perfect, your furnace will not start. This happens commonly after a filter change.

4) Are too many registers closed?
Do not close off more than 20 % of the registers because this can cause high resistance and unnecessary heat build up in the furnace.
It's OK to close some registers to save on energy costs if rooms are unused...but do not exceed 20%. So if you have 10 rooms, you should only be
closing a maximum of 2 registers.

5) Is the furnace switch in the "ON" position?
It may have been turned off by mistake.

How Do I Turn On My Gas Furnace?

It sounds easy, but believe it or not, many people don't know how to turn their furnace on or off. Here's a simple, step-by-step breakdown:

* Find the breaker for your furnace. It's part of the electrical panel, which is usually located in your basement, utility room or garage. The breaker
should be clearly labeled with a gas furnace sticker. Turn the breaker to the "On" position.

* Locate and turn on the furnace switch. It is typically somewhere near the bottom of your basement stairs - sometimes in the ceiling, sometimes in
the furnace room itself, and usually at eye level or slightly higher.

* Set your thermostat. Check that the furnace is on and then make sure that the selector switch is set to "Heat". Finally, adjust your set point
temperature, and that's it - your furnace is turned and ready to heat your home!

6) Look for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers at the main entrance panel.
Some furnaces have a separate power entrance, usually located at a different panel near the main entrance panel. Some furnaces have fuses
mounted in or on the unit. This shouldn't happen that often.

7) Check to make sure the thermostat selector switch is on "Heat"
If necessary, raise (or, for an air conditioner, lower) the setting 5º.
By setting the  temperature higher than the actual room temperature, this will kick start your gas furnace to turn on and will begin to warm your room.
Check the emergency switch to make sure that it's "ON".

8) If the unit uses gas, check to make sure the gas supply is turned on and the pilot light is lit.

9) Is the furnace venting blocked by snow or ice?
If so, try to remove the blockage.

10) Are the programmable thermostat batteries fresh?

11) Is your blower fan on?
Not all furnaces have a blower on/off button, but if your does, check it just in case your dog or child accidentally bumped into it.

Additional Troublshooting:  
relight a standing pilot   &    electronic ignitions




If A Gas Smell Is Detected

Gas furnaces and heaters have control shutoffs to prevent gas leaks, but they are not fail-safe. If you smell something like a rotten egg smell, you
could have a gas leak in your house. Do not turn any lights on or off, and do not try to shut off the gas leading to the furnace. Get out of the house,
leaving the door open, and immediately call the gas company or the fire department to report a leak
IMMEDIATELY. Do not re-enter your home.
































TROUBLESHOOTING

My Gas Furnace Produces No Heat


Replace blown fuse
Relight pilot light
Replace the thermostat









My Gas Furnace Does Not Produce Enough Heat


Replace dirty air filter











My Gas Furnace Comes On And Off Too Frequently


Adjust the thermostat heat anticipator
Troubleshooting a Thermostat
Replace dirty air filter




How to inspect, repair or replace the Blower Fan Belt on a furnace:

Regularly inspect blower-fan belts for any sign of damage and replace the belt if it’s damaged. Knowing how to inspect the blower-fan belt improves
furnace efficiency.

Furnaces need monthly maintenance and many do-it-yourselfers overlook the blower-fan belt. A worn, wimpy belt isn’t dangerous, but it makes a
squealing noise that may drive you crazy and, more important, costs you money. If the belt isn’t tight enough, it slips, and the fan will not turn as it
should. You get less hot air for your money.

Inspect the belt for wear and tear. Look for signs of cracking or weakness. If the belt is frayed or looks worn, replace it right away. In fact, as long as
you're buying a new blower-fan belt, buy two. Keep the extra one in a plastic bag on a nail by the furnace for those middle-of-the-night, all-the-stores-
are-closed, the-house-is-freezing, blown-fan-belt emergency.

Check the tension. Even if the belt looks good, if it has more than 1/2 inch of give either way (1 inch total), tighten it by taking up the extra slack by
using the motor adjusting bolt or you can also tighten the belt by loosening the attachment bracket. Then, move the motor assembly so the belt
tightens and holds.

Don’t tighten too much — a too-tight belt damages the motor and fan bearings. This can make a big, expensive mess of things.
Adjust the pulley alignment. While you’re in there fooling with the belt,
check the pulley alignment too. The pulleys should line up perfectly. If you
see any twisting in the belt, loosen the motor pulley mounting bolts and make an adjustment.




My Blower Does Not Turn Off - It's Always Running




Run the fan to check for running time. Fans set at too high a speed wastes energy. If the fan shuts off too soon or comes on too early, much of the
heat that should be circulating through your home will be wasted up the flue. Also, make sure any booster fans that equalize the delivery of heat to
rooms further away from the furnace are working properly. Otherwise, you'll end up with some rooms that are too hot and others that are too cold.







My Gas Furnace Is Noisy

Coming Soon

Adjust pilot light



How to inspect, repair or replace the Blower-Fan Belt on a furnace:

Regularly inspect blower-fan belts for any sign of damage and replace the belt if it’s damaged. Knowing how to inspect the blower-fan belt improves
furnace efficiency.

Furnaces need monthly maintenance and many do-it-yourselfers overlook the blower-fan belt. A worn, wimpy belt isn’t dangerous, but it makes a
squealing noise that may drive you crazy and, more important, costs you money. If the belt isn’t tight enough, it slips, and the fan will not turn as it
should. You get less hot air for your money.

Inspect the belt for wear and tear. Look for signs of cracking or weakness. If the belt is frayed or looks worn, replace it right away. In fact, as long as
you're buying a new blower-fan belt, buy two. Keep the extra one in a plastic bag on a nail by the furnace for those middle-of-the-night, all-the-stores-
are-closed, the-house-is-freezing, blown-fan-belt emergency.

Check the tension. Even if the belt looks good, if it has more than 1/2 inch of give either way (1 inch total), tighten it by taking up the extra slack by
using the motor adjusting bolt or you can also tighten the belt by loosening the attachment bracket. Then, move the motor assembly so the belt
tightens and holds.

Don’t tighten too much — a too-tight belt damages the motor and fan bearings. It can make a big, expensive mess of things.
Adjust the pulley alignment. While you’re in there fooling with the belt,
check the pulley alignment too. The pulleys should line up perfectly. If you
see any twisting in the belt, loosen the motor pulley mounting bolts and make an adjustment.




Re-Lighting A Gas Furnace Pilot






Coming Soon


The burner in your gas furnace is ignited either by electronic ignition (as found in most modern furnaces) or with a pilot flame (common in older style
furnaces). The gas furnace standing pilot (flame is lit all the time) is sometimes referred to as a pilot light, but no matter what you call it, its purpose
is to serve as a small ignition flame for the gas burner. And when this little flame fails to operate properly or go out, it's one of the most common
reasons a gas furnace will fail to operate.
So as they say, good things come in small packages and the furnace pilot is no exception. This standing pilot flame (and it's friend the
thermocouple) makes or breaks your furnace's operation, so it's worth spending some time to learn how it works and how to
troubleshoot the furnace
pilot or replace the thermocouple.

How to re-light the older style gas standing pilot.





My Furnace Comes On For 7 To 10 Seconds, Then Turns Off
OR
Furnace Burner Will Not Ignite

Possible Causes:
Electronic Ignition Furnace Problems













The more modern gas furnaces don't have hand-lit burners anymore; instead they have what is called a hot surface ignitor that gets red hot when
electricity passes through it. Standard hot surface ignitors need replacement about every 3-5 years under normal conditions, although the silicon
nitride kind do last a couple years longer.

Visit: Repair and troubleshooting of the Electronic Ignition Furnace





Replacing The Ignitor:

STEP 1











Turn off the power to your furnace at the electrical breaker box.



STEP 2














Take off the front panels of your furnace. To get to the hot surface ignitor, you have to take off the top panel first. In
the Trane XE80 this panel covers the blinking lights that tell you if your furnace is working properly.



STEP 3


















Now, remove the bottom panel that covers the motor and the hot surface ignitor. It also holds the gas
valve. Just to be safe, go ahead and turn off the gas valve.
IF YOU SMELL GAS AROUND YOUR
FURNACE, STOP RIGHT HERE AND DON'T CONTINUE UNTIL YOU'VE HAD YOUR FURNACE
CHECKED BY YOUR GAS COMPANY.



STEP 4










Locate the hot surface ignitor. It is close to what looks like a back wall inside the furnace; you can see the
plastic plugs here where it was plugged into the electrical wiring for the furnace.



STEP 5













Go ahead and unplug this part



STEP 6









Now locate where the ignitor is actually inserted; notice the single screw that is holding it in place against a
bracket.



STEP 7











Using the proper tool for the job, which in this case is a 1/4 inch socket, remove the screw and pull out the
hot surface ignitor




STEP 8

To find a replacement hot surface ignitor
shop online (this will save you tons of money!) You can go online
and compare your hot surface ignitor to the photos provided and pick the one that matches. This
easy
chart can also assist you in proper selection. You can also contact a supplier with the Model # of your
ignitor and have them tell you precisely which part you need.



STEP 9

Look at your burned out hot surface ignitor - note the ceramic end that actually turns red hot inside your
furnace. NEVER TOUCH THIS!! When you get your replacement part, use gloves if you have to, but DO
NOT TOUCH THE CERAMIC PART OF YOUR IGNITOR! The oil on your hands will ruin the ignitor and it
will blow up again in just a few days after installation. I can't emphasize this enough.



STEP 10








Insert the hot surface ignitor, put the screw back in and gently tighten. Plug in the plastic end to the
furnace electrical wiring. Replace your furnace panels. Following the instructions on your furnace, proceed
to start it up again. (I turn my thermostat all the way down, turn the gas valve on, turn the breaker switch
back to "ON", then turn my thermostat to the temp I want and voila' - it works



















Am I Mismatching The Furnace And Thermostat:


To find the right type of thermostat (Millivoltage, Low Voltage or Line Voltage) for your furnace, click here:  Matching yourThermostat and Furnace





My Furnace Is Fine, But There Is No Heat, Wild Temperature Swings Or Cycling
On & Off Too Often.

Possible Solution:
Replace A Faulty Thermostat













Replace A Faullty Thermostat







Do You Have A Particular Room In The House Cold?

Possible Solution:
Test Your Furnace's Airflow

If a room in your house is too cold during the winter, it might be because your furnace isn't supplying enough warm air through the registers in that
particular room. There's a simple way to test the airflow from your furnace registers to make sure they are working properly -- the garbage bag
airflow test.

The test is a quick way to estimate airflow by determining how long it takes to fill a common plastic garbage bag. While it is not a precise
measurement, it is better than no measurement at all and will give you a good ideas as to whether you need to call a technician to look at your
ductwork.

To do the garbage bag airflow test:

* Tape the mouth of the garbage bag to a coat hanger or piece of cardboard to keep it open.
* Crush the bag flat and place it over the register or exhaust hood.
* Count the number of seconds it takes for the bag to fully inflate.

If the inflation time is:

* 2 seconds = 37 L/s (75 cfm)
* 4 seconds = 20 L/s (40 cfm)
* 10 seconds = 10 L/s (20 cfm)

If the measured airflow is less than 10 L/s, the furnace is delivering only a small amount of heat to a room and needs to be further inspected to
determine why the heat is not going through.

The garbage bag airflow test is also useful if you have changed your heating or cooling systems or have made major renovations to your house.




PROBLEM: Fan Motor Has Seized

Possible Solution:
How to Properly Remove Vent Blockages

If you become aware of a furnace problem that might involve the exterior vent, do a quick inspection and see if any snow, ice or some common
household item might be blocking the vent. If so, before removing the obstruction, head inside first and turn the off the power to your furnace. Now,
you can safely clear away whatever is blocking your exterior vent. Once you're done, turn your furnace back on using either the breaker or the
switch.

A lack of airflow through the furnace's interior vents could mean your furnace fan motor has seized. If this has happened, don't try to fix the problem
yourself - contact the expert furnace repair technicians at your local HVAC contractor.




Inspect Your Pipes

Examine the ends of pipes. Blockage of your pipes can cause your gas furnace to not work properly. Look for wears and tears in the pipes. They
may need to be fixed or replaced.

DO NOT disconnect any pipes that lead to the gas supply.
If you remove any piping that leads to the gas line, you can cause a gas leak, and that is very dangerous.





Call a professional if these troubleshooting techniques didn't work.


ADDITIONAL VIDEOS

How To Operate A Gas Furnace  
How To Change A Furnace Fuse
Common Furnace Problems
How To Troubleshoot A Heating System
HVAC Troubleshooting
How To Balance HVAC Air Flow





RELATED LINKS
thermostat picture
gas furnace pilot light
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Gas Furnace Troubleshooting
electrical breaker box
furnace picture
furnace motor and hot surface ignitor
location of hot surface ignitor
unplug hot surface ignitor
unscrew ignitor
tools needed to replace furnace ignitor
never touch the hot surface ignitor
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