When your furnace won’t start, doing your own furnace repair in Milwaukee, Wisconsin , can feel pretty overwhelming.

Troubleshooting your furnace might feel like an intimidating job when your heat won’t work. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

There are a few speedy, inexpensive fixes you can do on your own to prevent a furnace repair call.

If your furnace won’t turn on, won’t stay on or won’t ignite, try the troubleshooting list below before contacting an HVAC professional.

If you find you need help from a heating and cooling pro and live in Milwaukee, Done Right Air can assist you. We can repair most makes of heating systems and also provide emergency furnace repair.

If it’s time for a new heating system, we also provide furnace installation.

While you’re talking with us, consider an annual furnace maintenance plan that could help you avoid problems in the future. We can tell you how frequently your furnace should be inspected by one of our Certified Pros.

Follow our easy guide below to get to work on troubleshooting your furnace. Most of these steps don’t require mechanical skills.

Furnace Repair Checklist

1. Check the Thermostat

To begin, make sure your thermostat is telling your furnace to start.

Digital Thermostat

Swap out the batteries if the screen is blank. If the digital screen is jumbled, the thermostat may need to be replaced.

Make sure the switch is set to “heat” rather than “off” or “cool.”

Ensure the program is set to the appropriate day and time and is set to “run.” If you’re having problems overriding the program, set the temperature by using the up/down arrows and press the “hold” button. This will make the furnace to ignite if thermostat programming is causing a problem.

Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than the room temperature.

If your furnace hasn’t kicked on within few minutes, make sure it has power by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your furnace could be without power.

Smart Thermostat

If you have a smart thermostat—like one made by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting is very model-specific. Check the manufacturer’s website for help. If you still can’t get your Wi-Fi thermostat to work, call us at 414-207-4034 for heating and cooling service.

2. Examine Breakers and Switches

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

Find your house’s main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure where it is, keep an eye out for a gray metal box in your basement, garage or closet.

Make sure your hands and feet are dry before touching the panel or breakers.

Find the breaker labeled “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s switched “on.” If the breaker has tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” position.

Using one hand, firmly switch the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker immediately trips and pops back to “off,” leave it alone and call a professional from Done Right Air at 414-207-4034 right away.

Regardless of your furnace’s age or brand, it has at least one standard wall switch located on or by it.

Make sure the switch is flipped up in the “on” position. If it was turned off, anticipate your furnace could take up to five minutes to ignite. (If you don’t know where to find your furnace, take a look at your basement, garage or utility closet. It could also be in a crawl space or attic.)

3. Replace the Air Filter

When it comes to furnace issues, a dirty, clogged air filter is often the top culprit.

If your filter is too dirty:

  • Your furnace won’t stay on, or it could overheat from reduced airflow.
  • Your energy bills could be higher because your furnace is turning on more often.
  • Your furnace could fail prematurely because a dirty fil