How to Turn on a Furnace

If your furnace is down and you need to get it back up, there are a few things you can try on your own before calling a technician. Whether you’ve turned your furnace off for the summer months or your system turned off on its own, it is important to follow proper safety precautions while turning it back on. Turning your furnace on incorrectly can result in extensive system damage and serious safety hazards. Protect yourself and your home by following our step-by-step guide for safely turning your furnace back on.

Inspect the Area Around Your Furnace

Before doing anything, you should inspect the area surrounding your furnace. Make sure there is no water or gas leaking. Gas leaks are easily identifiable by rotten egg odors or hissing gas lines. If you are experiencing a gas leak, evacuate your home and call your gas company right away for further instruction. Do not turn on or touch appliances or switches on your way out.

Once you confirm that there are no water or gas leaks, you can go ahead and continue to the next step.

Make Sure the Gas Is On

You need to make sure your gas is on so that your furnace will turn on. Any gas furnace will have a gas line located within 6 feet of the unit, usually easily identifiable by a brightly colored lever. The lever should be placed in the open position, which is when it is parallel with the pipe.

If the gas line is open and the furnace does not turn on, it is possible that you are experiencing a gas leak. Be sure to check your other gas appliances, such as the stove, to see if they are working correctly.

Turn Power On

If your system was shut off during the warmer months, you need to restore power to it using the electrical panel or fuse box located in your basement, utility room, or garage. Once you locate your electrical panel, switch the breaker for your furnace to the “on” position.

Additionally, you need to be sure that the furnace itself is turned on. The power switch for the furnace looks like any other switch, and is often located on a ceiling joist, floor joist, or a wall near the system. Once you flip the switch into the “on” position, it can take a few minutes for the furnace to power up.

Check the Pilot Light

Once your furnace is running, go ahead and check out the pilot light. If it is out, you need to switch the pilot setting to on. Once it is switched on, place a match or lighter in the pilot opening to get the flame going. The flame should be more blue than yellow, steady, and singular.

If the flame is excessively yellow, split, or flickering, something could be wrong. In this case, we recommend scheduling an inspection with a qualified technician. If it is running properly, you are okay to move on to the next step.

Make Sure the Thermostat Is Set Correctly

Once your furnace is prepared, you need to make sure that your thermostat is set correctly. To get your furnace running, your thermostat needs to be set to “heat” and the fan needs to be set to “auto.” Setting the fan to “on” will result in cold air circulating throughout your home when the furnace is off.

You also want to be sure to set the temperature high enough so that the furnace will kick on once it’s turned on. If the temperature is set too low, it will not come on.

Replace the Air Filter

To start furnace season on the right foot, be sure to replace your air filter. A brand-new air filter will ensure proper airflow, improve indoor air quality, and prevent unnecessary system strain. Your filter should be replaced every 1-3 months, depending on how quickly it becomes dirty/clogged.

Check Your Air Registers

Your air registers should all be open and there should be nothing blocking them while your furnace is running. Closing or blocking them can result in inconsistent/ineffective heating, system strain, and frequent repairs.

Call Parks for Professional Assistance!

If you’ve tried turning your furnace back on to no avail, Parks Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is here to help. Backed by 40+ years of service, there is no job too big or too small for our HVAC technicians to take on. Simply give us a call and we will have your furnace back up and running in no time!

Call (980) 357-5427 or contact us online to schedule a furnace service today. We look forward to restoring comfort to your home!

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