furnace repair

Shreveport is Getting Cold, but My Furnace Wont Turn On

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

There are several time-saving, reasonable 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 contacting an HVAC professional.

If you find you need help from a professional and live in Shreveport, Moon's Air can help you. We service most makes of heating systems.

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

While you’re in touch with us, consider an annual furnace maintenance plan from Moon's Air that might help you avoid repairs in the future. We can tell you how frequently your furnace should be inspected by one of our NATE-certified specialists.

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

Steps for Furnace Troubleshooting

Check the Thermostat

To start, make sure your thermostat is telling 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” instead of “off” or “cool.”
  • Ensure the program is showing the correct 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 force the furnace to ignite 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 turned on within few minutes, make sure it has power by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t 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. 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.

  • Look for your house’s main electrical panel. If you have no idea 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.
  • 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 get in touch with a professional from Moon's Air at 318-215-7938 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 near 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 culprit.

If your filter is too dirty:

  • Your furnace won’t be able to stay on, or it could overheat from limited airflow.
  • Your energy bills could be higher because your furnace is turning on too often.
  • Your furnace could stop working prematurely because a dirty filter causes it to work harder.
  • Your furnace can be cut off from power if an overly dirty filter causes the breaker to trip.

Depending on what model of furnace you have, your air filter will be 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, get a new one.
  • Insert 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 buy a washable filter that will last about 10 years. If you have children or pets, you may have to change your filter more often.

To make the process smoother 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 capture 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, check the float switch. If the switch is stuck “up” with water in the pan, contact Moon's Air at 318-215-7938, because you will likely need a new pump.

Peek Inside Your Furnace

If malfunctions persist, look inside your furnace’s plastic window to verify the status of the blower motor. Depending on the model, the light could also be fixed on the outside of your furnace.

If you see anything other than a steady, colored light or blinking green light, call Moon's Air at 318-215-7938. Your furnace may be communicating an error code that needs professional assistance.

Clean the Flame Sensor

If your furnace tries to start but turns off without putting out heat, a dirty flame sensor could be at fault. When this occurs, your furnace will attempt to ignite 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 on your own. Or, one of our HVAC professionals at Moon's Air 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:

  • Turn 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.
  • Lift off the furnace’s front panel and follow 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 set of checks before proceeding with regular operation. If your furnace doesn’t start, the sensor may need to be replaced or something else may be wrong. If this happens, contact Moon's Air at 318-215-7938 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 creating 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, call Moon's Air at 318-215-7938.

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.

Moon's Air Can Help with Furnace Problems

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

Call us today at 318-215-7938 or use our online scheduler. We’ll come out and pinpoint the problem.

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