How to Reset a Furnace—and When You Should Call an HVAC Pro

how to reset furnaceI’m going to be completely honest here for a second: I just don’t know all that much about computers. Now, I can use mine just fine, of course. But when it comes to keeping up on all the latest apps and programs and other gizmos? I’m just not the best guy for all that kind of stuff, and I definitely don’t know how to handle any computer tech problems. I do, however, know that before you start asking around for help, you should go ahead and restart, unplug, or reset whatever fancy device you’re using that’s giving you so much trouble. In my experience, a lot of problems get fixed this way.

When it comes to your HVAC system, it’s also important for you as a homeowner to know how to reset a furnace. Sometimes, especially as your furnace starts to get a little bit older, it’ll also start to go on the fritz, heating unevenly or even having a less than effective pilot light if it’s a gas model. When these little troubles start to pop up, that’s when you as a homeowner most need to know how to reset a furnace, the same way you would reboot your computer. With that in mind, today I’d like to talk about how to reset a furnace—and how to know when you should call a pro.

We’ll go over the exact logistical steps you need to take, the type of situations that necessitate resetting your furnace, and some telltale signs that it’s time to call in the professionals. Furnace’s can be intimidating, but, as always, knowledge is power. We’ll do our best today to give all of you fine Sacramento homeowners just a little bit more power, at least as it applies to operating your HVAC system.

How to Reset a Furnace: The Basic Steps

Let’s start by going over the exact steps you should take when it comes to how to reset a furnace yourself:

  1. Check the pilot light
  2. Turn down the thermostat
  3. Turn off the gas and power to the furnace
  4. Re-light the furnace
  5. Reset the furnace

Furnace Reset Step #1: Check the Pilot Light

For most of you homeowners out there who have a gas furnace, start by checking to see if the pilot light is on. This may require removing a panel, but once you do, it’s super easy.

the steps for how to reset your furnaceIs there a flame? If yes, it means your pilot light is on and you don’t need to reset your furnace in the first place. If no, it means that it isn’t on and you should continue with the next steps for how to reset your furnace.

Furnace Reset Step #2: Turn Down the Thermostat

Head over to the thermostat and turn the heat down to its lowest possible setting. This is a precaution for safety’s sake, to make absolutely certain it won’t unexpectedly kick on while you are resetting your furnace.

Furnace Reset Step #3: Turn off the Gas and Power to Your Furnace

Next, you need to go to your circuit breaker box (wherever it may be) and turn off the power to the furnace. Next, find the main gas supply line to the furnace and use the handle there to turn off the furnace’s main gas supply. Make sure to leave the gas on to the pilot supply, though.

Furnace Reset Step #4: Re-light the Furnace

Using a match, re-light the furnace’s pilot light by holding the small flame to the opening of the pilot flame jet that is just inside the furnace.

Furnace Reset Step #5: Finish Up Your Reset

Lastly, you’ll want to turn the power and the main gas supply back on before finding the clearly labeled reset button and hitting it. Then, just set your thermostat to the desired temperature.

When You Should Reset Your Furnace

As you may have noticed above, if your pilot light is still lit, you don’t want to go through with a reset. So, you may now be wondering what situations do call for you to reset your furnace. The answer is basically that whenever you notice furnace problems, ranging from unheated air blowing out of your vents to no air coming out of your vents at all. I even recommend taking a look at the pilot light if you start to notice an odd smell.

Basically, the same way that a little sign of trouble with your computer sends you rushing to do a quick reboot, any little sign of furnace trouble should have you going in there to check if the pilot light is still on. If you open up that panel and see that it’s gone out? Well then, it’s time to do a reset. And if that doesn’t work, it’s time to call in a professional.

When to Skip the Reset and Call a Furnace Professional

If resetting your furnace is your first recourse when it comes to furnace troubles and furnace efficiency, your second should be calling in a professional HVAC technician to take a look at what’s going on. The thing about furnaces is that they use gas, which is dangerous, and electrical components, which are tricky for even the most skilled DIY repairman to work with. There’s really no shame in calling a pro to take a look at your furnace.

If you’re hearing loud noises from your furnace or smelling an odd smell, and the pilot light inside is still lit, you should definitely call a professional HVAC repair tech immediately.

If you’re hearing loud noises from your furnace or smelling an odd smell, and the pilot light inside is still lit, you should definitely call a professional HVAC repair tech immediately. Simply put, with the chance of a gas leak or another serious issue looming, you don’t want to take any chances as an untrained tinkerer. I know I certainly wouldn’t ever dream of opening up my computer to tinker around—there’s just way too much that can go wrong.

So, there you have it: the basics about how to reset a furnace, when a reset is necessary, and when to know that it’s time to call in the professionals. Luckily, you can always rely on folks like us here at Bell Brothers to help you out. Our trained HVAC technicians are available to come to your house for a free in-home consultation. They’ll be able to do so much more than reset your furnace. They’ll be able to let you know what’s going on, and they can help you fix it. Give us a call today!

At Bell Brothers, we’re proponents of the whole home approach to health and efficiency, including finding ways to make your HVAC system as energy efficient as possible. Contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation.

Wondering how to finance a new furnace, or maybe even new windows and plumbing? HERO is a unique financing option that helps California homeowners afford energy efficient upgrades to their home. Contact Bell Brothers, a HERO-approved contractor, to learn more. Our local HVAC, plumbing, and window specialists will walk you through the entire process, from applications to installation.

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