Ignite Your Furnace With This Simple Restart

Is your furnace not working properly? If it fails to turn on or produce enough heat, don’t panic. In many cases, restarting the furnace provides an easy fix to get your heat flowing again. We will walk through essential steps for a DIY furnace reboot so you can avoid an expensive HVAC callout fee.

Before attempting to restart your furnace, understanding basic operation sets you up for success. Most home furnaces distribute hot air through ductwork using a continuous ignition system. This means when heat is needed, a control board sends power to ignite the gas burner. The pilot light, which maintains a small flame, lights the burner to create heating. A blower fan pushes this warm air throughout your home.

Gather Necessary Furnace Restart Supplies

Preparing a few simple items ahead of time ensures safe and smooth furnace troubleshooting. Improper tools or lack of safety measures may create bigger issues down the line.

Tools For The Job

Arm yourself with these basics before tinkering with your furnace:

  • Replacement air filter
  • Flashlight
  • Multimeter
  • Manufacturer’s owner manual

The owner’s manual provides key information like lighting instructions, gas valve locations, and wiring diagrams. Studying these specifics for your unit prevents mistakes. If you don’t have this on hand, check online or call the manufacturer.

Stay Safe With These Precautions

Working around gas lines and flames presents hazards. Protect yourself with these tips:

how to restart furnace
  • Turn off power supply at the breaker box
  • Allow hot components to fully cool before handling
  • Use caution around the pilot light assembly

It also helps to have your furnace inspected annually. A technician identifies potential problems early before they become costly repair bills.

Step 1 – Swap The Air Filter

One overlooked cause of furnace shutdowns is a dirt-clogged filter. This first reboot step takes just minutes but reaps huge benefits.

Locate The Existing Air Filter

The air filter removes debris as air circulates through your HVAC system. In most configurations, you will find the filter along the return air ductwork path. Common filter spots:

  • Behind a wall-mounted access grille
  • Underneath the blower compartment
  • Inside the main furnace cabinet

Check your owner’s manual or locating rating stickers on the unit if filter placement seems tricky to pinpoint.

Inspect The Condition

Take the filter out and hold it up to check cleanliness. Some signs it needs replacing:

  • Visible dirt debris covering mesh screen
  • Filter has musty smell
  • Filter media appears torn, damaged

If in doubt, grab a fresh replacement filter for optimal performance.

Insert New Air Filter Properly

Arrow icons on most filters indicate airflow direction through the media. When inserting the new filter, point the arrow towards the blower apparatus. This aligns airflow for debris collection. Secure the filter snugly in place and move on to reboot step two.

Step 2 – Examine The Pilot Light

Furnace pilot lights sustain a small flame used to ignite gas and start heating cycles. If this pilot goes out, no ignition occurs until it’s relit. Use the following process to inspect pilot status.

Access The Pilot Light Assembly

The pilot light mounts near burner components to facilitate ignition. Typical locations:

  • Behind a removable access panel
  • Next to the gas valve

Consult your particular furnace diagrams from the owner’s documentation if needed.

Check Pilot Flame Viability

Shine a flashlight on the pilot assembly tip. A healthy flame appears:

  • Blue color
  • 1 to 4 inches size
  • Burning continuously without flickering

If no flame exists, use the lighting instructions covered next to reignite.

Relight The Pilot As Needed

Your owner’s manual explains the relighting steps for your model. Standard procedure:

  1. Adjust gas valve to PILOT position
  2. Push valve knob while clicking ignitor button until lit
  3. Continue holding 30 seconds to prevent flame outage
  4. Release knob and ensure pilot stays lit
  5. Change valve to ON for furnace operation

Performing annual cleaning keeps your pilot assembly running efficiently over time.

Step 3 – Reset The Furnace Power

As part of the reboot process, cutting total furnace electricity lets components fully reset. Here’s how to cycle power properly.

Switch Off The Electrical Supply

Find your main breaker box normally located outside the home or in the basement. Locate the dedicated breaker switch labeled for your furnace. Flip the switch downward to the OFF position.

Leave Power Off Minimum 10 Minutes

This power cycling interval allows time for internal furnace parts like sensors and motors to reset electrically. Ten minutes gives ample time for a soft reboot.

Restore Electrical Power

Return to breaker box after 10+ minutes and flip furnace’s dedicated breaker back to ON. Normal electrical supply now flows for full operation.

Step 4 – Adjust Thermostat Settings

The final furnace restart step sets your thermostat to call for heat again. We’ll ensure it requests appropriate temperature.

Set Temperature Below Current Ambient

Look at the thermostat interface and adjust setpoint 5-10 degrees BELOW present indoor temperature. This clearly calls for heating startup. Give the furnace several minutes to respond before additional changes.

Gradually Increase Towards Desired Temp

Once the furnace begins blowing hot air, start inching the thermostat setpoint up towards your goal temp. Make incremental adjustments allowing furnace to react over 5+ minutes.

Verify Heating Performance

Monitor furnace operation until it reaches and maintains the desired indoor temperature setpoint. Now you can relax confident your reboot was successful!

When To Call A Trained HVAC Technician

In some cases, a furnace requires professional service beyond a routine restart. Seek assistance if you observe:

  • Frequent pilot light outage: Points to thermocouple or gas valve faults
  • Blower runs but supply air stays cold: Potential blown fuse or cracked heat exchanger
  • Loud rattling during operation: Indicates blower cage damage or duct detachment

Skilled technicians have specialized tools and knowledge to accurately diagnose issues. They can get heat flowing reliably using professional repairs when do-it-yourself efforts come up short.

Before calling for costly furnace repairs, try rebooting the system first. Inspecting the air filter, pilot light, and electrical supply often solves common heating problems. Adjust the thermostat to complete reset steps. Schedule annual maintenance checkups to keep your unit running efficiently for years of warm winters ahead!

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