When and How to Reset a Furnace or Heat Pump in Your Home
Sometimes, problems that seem complicated can have simple solutions. Fortunately, this is often the case when it comes to your furnace or heat pump. If your system isn’t blowing warm air or isn’t working at all, you may be able to fix the problem simply by performing a system reset. At Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical, we understand that working on your furnace can be intimidating. That’s why we want to offer this in-depth explanation of furnace resets so that you can best take care of your furnace and your entire Phoenix home.
Problems Requiring a Reset
Typically, a furnace will shut itself off if it becomes too hot. In many cases, a furnace will overheat if there is a blocked airway at some point in the system. Whether that’s in the return duct, the air handler or somewhere else along the line, accumulations of dust are often the culprit behind a furnace that simply stops working. Of course, there’s always a chance that the shut-down could just be a fluke caused by a momentary error. Since there’s a chance that there’s nothing wrong with your furnace, it’s always a good idea to try and perform a reset as a first repair step.
How to Diagnose
When it comes to something as complex as your furnace, we recommend taking your time to try and diagnose what’s causing your furnace to shut down. Many furnaces and heat pumps will have a flashing light somewhere on the exterior that will clue you in as to what the problem might be. You can check this light and then check the troubleshooting guide printed on the furnace to figure out where you need to look. Of course, a careful visual inspection could reveal problems such as a blockage, frayed wiring or some other issue. Therefore, even if you can decode the error message, it’s still good to inspect your furnace or heat pump.
After taking a few moments to diagnose any potential problems, it’s time to reset your furnace. Before you do that, though, make sure to turn off the gas and electric supply to your equipment. The reasons for doing this are twofold. First and foremost, turning off all energy supplies ensures that you can safely work on your furnace or heat pump. Second, by turning off the electricity and gas, you ensure that your furnace truly has a chance to reset instead of performing a soft reset that’s not as comprehensive.
Find the Switch
Another step in resetting your furnace is to turn the reset switch to the “Off” position. We recommend looking for this switch on either the right or left side of your furnace or heat pump. In many installations, this switch will be a normal toggle switch like one you would use to turn your lights off and on. Even if the switch isn’t marked, all you have to do is flip it to the opposite position to know that you’ve engaged the reset mechanism. For most furnaces, you only need to wait three seconds or so. However, waiting up to ten seconds is recommended to ensure that the computer has a chance to turn off fully and reset itself.
Test Your Results
Once this procedure is complete, there is still work to do. You’ll need to make sure to return the reset switch to the “On” position. Next, put the cover back on and restore the electrical and gas supply to your furnace or heat pump. Give your unit a few minutes to come back to full power, and then set your thermostat to engage your furnace or heat pump. You’ll want to take some time listening, smelling and looking for any signs of trouble. By using all your senses, you can check to make sure that any issues are truly resolved. If there are still problems, it’s best to call Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical for a more in-depth system review by one of our professional technicians.
Regarding the Blower Fan
Even if your furnace or heat pump is operating correctly, your blower fan may be having a problem that prevents your system from providing heat to your home. One other place to check before you call in the experts is the blower fan. On many systems, the blower fan will have its own reset button that you may need to engage in order to get your system back up and running. Use a flashlight to carefully search the chamber around your blower fan for a reset switch because this switch could be fairly small. If you notice that the blower fan is exceptionally dusty, make sure to remove the dust before resetting the unit. The extra weight of the dust could be overloading the blower motor, causing the unit to shut down.
If, after all of your do-it-yourself efforts, your furnace still isn’t working properly, then it’s time to figure out what’s truly behind the malfunction. There are a variety of problems that could be causing your furnace or heat pump to shut down, some of which you may be able to check yourself before calling Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical for assistance. As previously mentioned, air blockages could be the cause of a malfunctioning furnace. If you’ve already checked the ducts themselves, make sure that the air filter is clean as well. If you have a gas furnace, you should also check to see if any ash or dirt is clogging the burner jets.
Check Your Thermostat
Another simple problem that could be at the heart of your furnace or heat pump troubles is a malfunctioning thermostat. Since your HVAC system relies on the thermostat to turn off and on at the correct times, a problematic thermostat will often create the illusion of a more serious problem. If your thermostat uses batteries, make sure they are fresh and have full power. There is also a chance that you simply have a faulty thermostat. Replacing a thermostat is a fairly straightforward do-it-yourself repair. If you’re not comfortable taking on the repair, though, feel free to call on our conscientious technicians for assistance.
Getting Assistance Is Important
Speaking of getting assistance, it’s important to remember that poking around your furnace too much can quickly lead to serious problems if you don’t know what you’re doing. At Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical, we stand ready to assist you with any furnace, heat pump or air conditioner maintenance, repair or installation. In fact, we can handle any HVAC-related issue that arises. We also offer a full range of electrical and plumbing services. For over 40 years, we’ve been proud to provide home repair expertise to the residents of Glendale and the surrounding areas. Our customers love us enough to consistently leave us five-star reviews. To learn more about taking care of your furnace or heat pump, contact us at Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical today.