It’s a chilly winter morning, and you wake up shivering only to realize your furnace isn’t blowing out any warm air. Uh oh. After fiddling with the thermostat and breakers, you locate the furnace reset button and press it, but nothing happens. Now what? Don’t panic – a stuck furnace reset button can often be quickly and easily fixed with a few troubleshooting steps.
We’ll also provide a foolproof, step-by-step process to safely reset both gas and electric furnace units in just minutes. With some basic mechanical skills and safety precautions, you can have the heat running again in no time. Let’s get started!
When Should You Reset Your Furnace?
Furnace reset buttons are designed as a safety mechanism to shut down the system if it overheats or encounters an electrical issue. When operating normally, you may only need to reset a furnace after initial installation or as part of yearly maintenance. However, there are certain signs that indicate the reset button has tripped and your furnace needs resetting:
- Your furnace has stopped producing warm air
- You hear the burner or blower turning on and off repeatedly
- The furnace circuit breaker is tripping
- The pilot light repeatedly goes out
- You notice strange noises or smells coming from the furnace
If you notice the furnace reset button needs hitting more than a few times to restart the system, that’s a clue that an underlying problem is causing it to trip. Simply resetting it over and over won’t solve the root cause. Keep reading to learn how to troubleshoot and repair recurring furnace reset button issues.
Signs of Trouble: When to Call a Professional
While a single reset may get your furnace temporarily up and running again, repeated resetting indicates an underlying problem that needs professional attention. Call in an HVAC technician if:
- The furnace requires resetting more than 2-3 times in a short period
- You are unable to get the furnace restarted despite resetting it
- You hear strange noises, smell gas or smoke, or observe other signs of malfunction
- It’s time for annual maintenance and inspections
Resetting the furnace repeatedly without diagnosing the root cause can lead to further damage or risky conditions. Leave troubleshooting complex furnace issues to the experts. Now let’s look at the step-by-step process for safely resetting your furnace.
Step-by-Step: Resetting a Gas Furnace
If you have a gas furnace, follow these steps to reset the furnace when the button is stuck:
- Safety first! Turn off the pilot light and lower the thermostat temperature setting.
- Locate and shut off the main power supply to your furnace.
- Find the main gas valve leading into the furnace and turn it off.
- Remove the front panel on the furnace to access the reset button.
- Press and hold the reset button in for 15-30 seconds.
- Replace the furnace panel and turn the main gas valve back on.
- Relight the pilot light according to the manufacturer instructions.
- Restore power to the furnace circuit.
- Bump the thermostat temperature back up to call for heat.
- Monitor the furnace closely to ensure it ignites and runs normally without any sputtering flames or strange sounds.
The process should only take about 5-10 minutes. With the gas and power cut off during resetting, this sequence safely restarts your gas furnace without risk of explosion or electrocution. Make sure to relight the pilot properly – many furnace issues arise from improper pilot lighting.
Gas Furnace Reset Tips and Tricks
Follow these tips for seamless gas furnace resetting:
- Refer to your owner’s manual for step-by-step reset instructions specific to your model.
- The reset button is often located behind a small access door on the bottom or side panel.
- Some furnaces have an external reset button near the burner compartment.
- If your pilot light repeatedly goes out, the flame sensor likely needs cleaning.
- Listen for a click to indicate the reset button has engaged.
- If the furnace doesn’t ignite after resetting, repeat the steps to ensure proper pilot lighting.
Taking a few minutes to reset your gas furnace can get the heat restored quickly while you arrange for any needed repairs. Now let’s look at resetting electric furnaces.
Step-by-Step: Resetting an Electric Furnace
Resetting an electric furnace follows a similar sequence but without the gas components:
- Shut off the main electrical supply to your furnace at the circuit breaker.
- Remove the front access panel to locate the reset button.
- Press in the reset button continuously for 15-30 seconds.
- Replace the furnace access panel.
- Restore electrical power to the furnace.
- Adjust the thermostat to call for heat.
- Check that the furnace ignites and heats properly.
This simple reset process should have your electric furnace system safely up running again in just a few minutes. Pay attention for any sounds of strain, odd smells, or other indications something may still be wrong.
Electric Furnace Reset Tips
Keep these electric furnace reset tips in mind:
- Locate the reset button on the control board or near the blower motor.
- Some models have the reset button behind a small plastic cover.
- Press the button continuously for a full 20-30 seconds.
- If the reset button pops again right away, troubleshoot for electrical shorts.
- Reset at the circuit breaker first before pressing the furnace reset button.
Resetting the breaker ensures full power cycling. As with gas furnaces, repeated resets indicate larger electrical problems needing professional diagnosis.
When to Call a Professional
While the basic furnace reset process is straightforward, recurring resetting often signals a larger underlying problem. Contact a qualified HVAC technician if:
- Your furnace requires repeated resets over a short time period
- The reset button will not remain engaged
- You smell gas or smoke or hear odd noises
- Your furnace will not ignite after resetting
- Your home is not heating properly after resetting the furnace
Furnace issues that require professional expertise include:
- Electrical issues : If the furnace is experiencing electrical issues, such as voltage fluctuations or surges, the reset button may trip repeatedly. In this case, it may be necessary to have a licensed electrician inspect the electrical system in your home to ensure that it is functioning properly.
- Thermostat malfunctions : If the thermostat is not communicating properly with the furnace, it can cause the reset button to trip. This can be a result of a malfunctioning thermostat or poor wiring. If you suspect that this is the issue, it may be necessary to replace the thermostat or have a professional inspect the wiring.
- Ignition issues : The ignition system in a furnace is responsible for starting the burners. If this system is not functioning properly, it can cause the reset button to trip. This can be a result of a dirty ignition system, a faulty igniter, or other issues. Regular maintenance and cleaning of the ignition system can help prevent these issues from arising.
- Blower motor issues : The blower motor is responsible for circulating air throughout your home. If this motor is not functioning properly, it can cause the reset button to trip repeatedly. A failing blower motor often needs professional replacement.
- Heat exchanger problems : Issues with the furnace’s heat exchanger like cracks or separation can lead to improper combustion and repeated resetting. Left unaddressed, heat exchanger problems can lead to carbon monoxide leaks making professional repairs critical.
- Gas valve defects : Faulty gas valves that leak or fail to close fully will impact furnace operation. A professional should diagnose and replace any malfunctioning gas valves.
- Blocked vents or filters : Restricted airflow from blocked vents, dirty filters, or other obstructions can cause the furnace to overheat and the reset button to trip repeatedly. Technicians have specialized tools to thoroughly clean obstructed components.
While resetting can provide a quick fix, it’s not a permanent solution for underlying problems. Let the experts handle diagnosing and repairing complex furnace issues!
Preventing Future Furnace Resets
Take these preventative steps to minimize issues and keep your furnace running smoothly all winter:
- Change or clean furnace filters monthly
- Have an HVAC technician complete yearly maintenance and inspections
- Ensure vents are clear of obstructions both inside and outside your home
- Replace any faulty components like blower motors or flame sensors
- Confirm proper gas pressure, voltage, and airflow to the furnace
- Only use your furnace as designed by the manufacturer
- Keep the furnace area clean and free of clutter
Routine maintenance goes a long way towards preventing issues that lead to resetting. Keep your owner’s manual handy and follow all manufacturer recommendations. And remember – when in doubt, call in the experts!
Locating and resetting a stuck furnace button is a fairly straightforward DIY process. But remember, if the reset button trips repeatedly or your furnace fails to operate normally after resetting, that indicates a larger underlying problem needing professional repair. Don’t just keep resetting – call in the experts!
Resetting your gas or electric furnace reset button correctly can safely get your heat running again quickly. Follow our tips to troubleshoot common furnace resetting issues and determine when to request professional assistance. With just a bit of maintenance and troubleshooting knowledge, a simple reset can get your warmth restored fast.
Stay cozy this winter! With our step-by-step reset guide, a stuck furnace reset button doesn’t have to leave you out in the cold. Reach out to trusted furnace experts like Aire Serv if you encounter any issues requiring professional expertise. They have the skills and experience to diagnose and repair any furnace problems promptly and properly. Let the pros handle the complex repairs – get your furnace reset and running again in minutes with our DIY tips!