Furnace Repair in Pella, Iowa: How to Repair 9 Common Troubles

HVAC man working on a furnace

When your furnace won’t start, doing your own furnace repair in Pella, Iowa, can seem like a big undertaking.

There are a few quick, low-cost solutions you can take on on your own to skip a heater service call.

If your heating system refuses to kick on, won’t keep running or won’t ignite, take a look at the troubleshooting list below before calling an HVAC expert.

If you find you need support from a heating and cooling professional and live in Pella, Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating can provide assistance to you. We can repair most makes of heating systems and also provide emergency furnace repair.

CALL NOW 641-628-3621



If you’re ready for a new heating system, we also do furnace installation.

While you’re talking with our team, think over a routine furnace maintenance plan from Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating that could help you avoid repairs in the future. A team member can inform you about how regularly your heater should be checked by one of our NATE-Certified professionals.

Go through our simple checklist as shown to get started on troubleshooting your HVAC system. The majority of these steps don’t require mechanical know-how.

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1. Look at the Thermostat

To begin, make certain that your thermostat is instructing your furnace to ignite.

Digital Thermostat

  • Replace the batteries if the display is not displaying anything. If the digital screen is scrambled, the thermostat might need to be swapped out.
  • Ensure the button is switched to “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
  • Make certain the program is displaying the correct day and time and is programmed to “run.” If you’re having problems turning off the setting, set the temperature by utilizing the up/down arrows and holding the “hold” button. This will make the heater to ignite if thermostat scheduling is a problem.
  • Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees above the temperature of the room.

If your heat hasn’t kicked on within several minutes, ensure it has juice by moving the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your heating system might not have power.

Smart Thermostat

If you use a smart thermostat—for example one designed by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will be determined by the model you have. Take a look at the manufacturer’s website for support. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to operate, contactl us at 641-628-3621 for heating and cooling service.

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2. Examine Breakers and Switches

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

  • Locate your home’s main electrical panel. If you aren’t sure where it is, keep an eye out for a metallic metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
  • Make sure your hands and feet are dry in advance of using the panel or breakers.
  • Look for the breaker labeled “furnace” or “heat,” and ensure it’s turned “on.” If the breaker has tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” spot.
  • Moving one hand, firmly flip the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker immediately trips and pops back to “off,” don’t touch it and contact an expert from Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating at 641-628-3621 immediately.

Regardless of your furnace’s age or brand, it has no less than one ordinary wall switch installed on or by it.

  • Make sure the lever is flipped up in the “on” placement. If it was shut off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to ignite. (If you don’t know where to locate your furnace, look in your basement, garage or utility closet. It could also be in a crawl space or attic.)
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3. Replace the Air Filter

When we think about heater problems, a filthy, full air filter is frequently the top offender.

If your filter is too grungy:

  • Your heater won’t be able to stay on, or it may get too hot from reduced airflow.
  • Your utility bills could increase because your heater is switching on more often.
  • Your furnace may fail too soon due to the fact a filthy filter triggers it to overwork.
  • Your furnace can be disconnected from power if an extremely dirty filter results in a tripped breaker.

Based on what make of heating system you use, your air filter is located within the blower compartment of your heater, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.

To swap out your filter:

  • Turn off your heater.
  • Remove the filter and tilt it toward the light. If you can’t see light through it, get a new one.
  • Put in the new filter with the arrow facing toward the heater to avoid damage.

Flat filters should be replaced once a month, while pleated filters should be used for around three months. You could also get a washable filter that will last about 10 years. If you have children or pets, you might have to change your filter more frequently.

To make the procedure smoother in the future, write with a permanent marker on your heater housing or ductwork to show the airflow direction and filter size.

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4. Check the Condensate Pan

Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans capture water your heater pulls from the air.

If liquid is leaking out of your furnace or its pan has too much water in it, try these guidelines.

  • If your pan includes a drain (look for a PVC pipe), check that it’s clear. If it requires draining, drop in a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware shops.
  • If your pan has a pump, check the float switch. If the button is jammed “up” with standing water in the pan, contact us at 641-628-3621, because you will probably have to buy a new pump.
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5. Watch for Furnace Error Codes

If faults persist, peek inside your furnace’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the model, the light could also be mounted on the outside of your heater.

If you notice anything else besides a steady, colored light or blinking green light, contact us at 641-628-3621 for HVAC service. Your furnace may be emitting an error code that needs professional assistance.

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6. Scrub the Flame Sensor

If your heater tries to run but turns off without distributing heat, a grimy flame sensor could be at fault. When this happens, your furnace will try to start three times before a safety feature powers it down for approximately an hour.

If you feel okay with opening up your heating system, gently scrubbing your flame sensor is work you have the ability to do yourself. Or, one of our heating service professionals has the ability to do it for you.

If you are confident cleaning the sensor on your own, you require:

  • A 1/4” hex screwdriver or wrench
  • Portion of light grit sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth
  • An unused paper towel

As the next step:

  • Shut off the furnace’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If your furnace’s gas valve isn’t electric, you have to switch off the gas along with it.
  • Lift off the heater’s front panel and follow the wire to the flame sensor.
  • Unscrew the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to lightly rub the metal rod.
  • Wipe off the rod with a paper towel.
  • Screw the sensor back in.
  • Put the furnace doors back on.
  • Restore power to the furnace. It may go through a series of checks before continuing normal running. If your heating system doesn’t ignite, the sensor could require replacement or something else could be causing a problem. If this occurs, call us at 641-628-3621 for heating and cooling repair help.
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7. Light the Pilot Light

If you have an outdated heating system, the pilot light could be out. To relight it, look for the guide on a label on your heating system, or use these recommendations.

  • Find the switch below your heating system labeled “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
  • Move the switch to the “off” position.
  • Don’t do anything for at least five minutes to avoid starting a fire.
  • Move the switch to “pilot.”
  • Push the “reset” switch as you push the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
  • Depress the “reset” switch once the pilot light is lit.
  • If you have tried the list twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or remain ignited, contact us at 641-628-3621 for furnace service.

condensate pan icon

Inspect Your Gas Delivery System

Try switching on another gas appliance. If it doesn’t function, your natural gas service may be turned off, or you could be out of propane.

We Can Assist With HVAC Repair

Went through our troubleshooting list but your heater still won’t operate?

Reach us now at 641-628-3621 or contact us online. We’ll come out and pinpoint the problem.

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