Furnace Repair in McMurray, Pennsylvania: How to Fix 9 Routine Troubles

HVAC man working on a furnace

When your HVAC system won’t start, doing your own furnace repair in McMurray, Pennsylvania, can appear daunting.

There are a few quick, reasonable things you can take on by yourself to prevent a heater repair bill.

If your heating system doesn’t kick on, won’t keep running or won’t ignite, take a look at the troubleshooting guide below before contacting an HVAC expert.

If you realize you need support from a heating and cooling expert and live in McMurray, Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can provide assistance to you. We are able to repair most types of furnaces and also offer emergency furnace repair.

CALL NOW 724-370-0141



If you need a new heating system, we also provide furnace installation.

While you’re talking with us, think over an annual furnace maintenance plan from Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing that could help you avoid problems down the line. We can tell you how frequently your HVAC system needs to be checked by one of our NATE-certified professionals.

Go through our simple checklist as shown to start troubleshooting your furnace. A great deal of these steps don’t have the requirement of mechanical skills.

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1. Check the Thermostat

To start, make sure your thermostat is instructing your heater to start.

Digital Thermostat

  • Swap out the batteries if the display is blank. If the digital monitor is mixed up, the thermostat may need to be swapped out.
  • Ensure the switch is on “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”
  • Make certain the program is showing the appropriate day and time and is programmed to “run.” If you’re having a hard time turning off the program, set the temperature by using the up/down arrows and pressing the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to ignite if thermostat programming is causing trouble.
  • Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees hotter than the room temperature.

If your heat hasn’t started within a couple minutes, make certain that it has electricity by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t operate, your heating system might not have power.

Smart Thermostat

If you utilize a smart thermostat—like one designed by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will depend on your model. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for help. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to operate, contactl us at 724-370-0141 for heating and cooling service.

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2. Check Breakers and Switches

Next, you will need to check if your breaker and furnace switch are on.

  • Locate your residence’s main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure where it is, look for a silver metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
  • Make sure your hands and feet aren’t moist before using the panel or breakers.
  • Find the breaker titled “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s moved to “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” area.
  • With one hand, steadily switch the breaker to the “on” location. If the breaker immediately trips and pops back to “off,” don’t try to reset it and get in touch with an expert from Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing at 724-370-0141 right away.

No matter your furnace’s age or brand, it has no less than one ordinary wall switch positioned on or near it.

  • Make sure the lever is facing up in the “on” placement. If it was turned off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to start. (If you’re unsure where to find your furnace, take a look at your basement, garage or utility closet. It may also be in a crawl space or attic.)
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3. Replace the Air Filter

When it comes to furnace problems, a filthy, clogged air filter is frequently the top culprit.

If your filter is too dirty:

  • Your furnace won’t keep heating your home, or it might get too hot from reduced airflow.
  • Your energy expenses may go up because your furnace is switching on more often.
  • Your heating system could break down too soon because a dirty filter triggers it to overwork.
  • Your heating system might be cut off from power if an excessively filthy filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.

Depending on what model of heater you have, your air filter will be in the interior of the blower compartment of your furnace, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.

To replace your filter:

  • Cut the power to your furnace.
  • Pull out the filter and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, replace it.
  • Insert the new filter with the arrow motioning toward the furnace to prevent damage.

Flat filters ought to be replaced once a month, while pleated filters should last around three months. You may also use a washable filter that will last about 10 years. If you have children or pets, you might have to change your filter more frequently.

To make changing your filter easier down the road, write with a permanent writing tool on your heating system outside or ductwork to show the airflow direction and filter size.

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4. Check the Condensate Pan

Also known as drain pans, condensate pans catch liquid your heater draws from the air.

If liquid is seeping from within your furnace or its pan is overflowing, follow these steps.

  • If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), check that it isn’t full. If it requires draining, get a special pan-cleaning tablet you can get at home improvement or hardware stores.
  • If your pan uses a pump, check the float switch. If the lever is stuck “up” with water in the pan, contact us at 724-370-0141, because you will possibly have to get a new pump.
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5. Check for Heating Error Codes

If malfunctions continue, look at your heater’s plastic window to confirm the blower motor’s status. Subject to the model, the light could also be fixed on the exterior of your heater.

If you notice anything else besides a steady, colored light or twinkling green light, call us at 724-370-0141 for HVAC service. Your heater could be communicating an error code that needs specialized assistance.

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6. Brush off the Flame Sensor

If your furnace makes an effort to start but switches off without distributing warmth, a dusty flame sensor can be responsible. When this happens, your furnace will attempt to start three times before a safety mechanism turns it off for approximately an hour.

If you feel comfortable with taking the panels off your heating system, gently scrubbing your flame sensor is work you can do yourself. Or, one of our heating service experts has the ability to complete it for you.

If you are confident cleaning the sensor on your own, you need:

  • A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
  • Section of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
  • An unused paper towel

Then:

  • Shut off the furnace’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you must turn off the gas along with it.
  • Take off the heating system’s front panel and trace the wire to the flame sensor.
  • Take off 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.
  • Screw the sensor back in.
  • Replace the furnace doors.
  • Switch the furnace’s power back on. It may proceed through a series of examinations before proceeding with regular running. If your heating system doesn’t start, the sensor may require replacement or something else may be wrong. If this takes place, contact us at 724-370-0141 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
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7. Reignite the Pilot Light

If you are using an aging heater, the pilot light could be out. To relight it, look for the directions on a label on your heating system, or use these steps.

  • Look for the switch on the bottom of your heater marked “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
  • Push the switch to the “off” position.
  • Take a break for at least five minutes to limit the possibility for starting a fire.
  • Push the knob to “pilot.”
  • Push the “reset” lever as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
  • Let go of the “reset” switch once the pilot light is burning.
  • If you have tried the list twice and the pilot light still won’t light or stay ignited, call us at 724-370-0141 for furnace service.

condensate pan icon

Examine Your Gas Source

Try using another gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas source may be switched off, or you might have run out of propane.

We Can Assist With HVAC Repair

Gone through our troubleshooting guide but your furnace still doesn’t operate?

Contact us today at 724-370-0141 or contact us online. We’ll come out and diagnose the issue.

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