Furnace Repair in Des Moines, Iowa: How to Repair 9 Regular Troubles

HVAC man working on a furnace

When your heater won’t kick on, doing your own furnace repair in Des Moines, Iowa, can feel overwhelming.

There are several fast, reasonable things you can take on on your own to avoid a heater service bill.

If your heating system doesn’t kick on, won’t stay on or won’t ignite, try the troubleshooting guide below prior to calling an HVAC expert.

If you come to the realization you need support from a heating and cooling expert and live in Des Moines, Heartland Heating & Cooling is able to assist you. We can repair most types of furnaces and also provide emergency furnace repair.

CALL NOW 515-344-3579



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

While you’re talking with us, consider a regular furnace maintenance plan from Heartland Heating & Cooling that might help you avoid breakdowns down the line. Our team can tell you how frequently your HVAC system needs to be checked by one of our NATE-Certified professionals.

Use our easy list as demonstrated to get to work on troubleshooting your HVAC system. The majority of these procedures don’t require mechanical know-how.

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1. Inspect the Thermostat

To start, make certain that your thermostat is instructing your heat to turn on.

Digital Thermostat

  • Change the batteries if the monitor is not displaying anything. If the digital screen is jumbled, the thermostat could need to be replaced.
  • Make sure the switch is set to “heat” instead of “off” or “cool.”
  • Make certain the program is showing the appropriate day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having a hard time overriding the program, set the temperature with the up/down arrows and using the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to turn on if thermostat scheduling is an issue.
  • Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees above what the room temperature currently is.

If your heating hasn’t kicked on within a few minutes, ensure it has juice by toggling the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t operate, your furnace may not have power.

Smart Thermostat

If you have a smart thermostat—such as one made by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting is very model-specific. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for help. If you’re still unable to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to work, reachl us at 515-344-3579 for heating and cooling service.

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2. Inspect Breakers and Switches

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

  • Locate your home’s main electrical panel. If you don’t know where it is, search for a metallic metal box in your basement, garage or closet.
  • Ensure your hands and feet aren’t moist prior to touching the panel or breakers.
  • Look for the breaker labeled “furnace” or “heat,” and make sure it’s reading “on.” If the breaker has tripped, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
  • With one hand, firmly switch the breaker to the “on” position. If the breaker instantly trips and pops back to “off,” leave it alone and call a professional from Heartland Heating & Cooling at 515-344-3579 immediately.

It doesn’t matter how old your furnace is or what brand it is, it has no less than one regular wall switch installed on or by it.

  • Ensure the control is flipped up in the “on” placement. If it was shut off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to turn on. (If you’re unsure where to locate your furnace, check your basement, garage or utility closet. It may also be in a crawl space or attic.)
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3. Replace the Air Filter

When we think about heater issues, a filthy, full air filter is regularly the top culprit.

If your filter is too grungy:

  • Your furnace won’t stay on, or it might get too warm from restricted airflow.
  • Your gas bills could go up because your heat is running too often.
  • Your heat could fail sooner than it should due to the fact a filthy filter triggers it to overwork.
  • Your furnace might be cut off from power if an excessively filthy filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.

While it depends on what type of heater you use, your air filter is located inside the blower compartment of your heating system, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.

To replace your filter:

  • Switch off your furnace.
  • 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 motioning toward the heater to avoid damage.

Flat filters need to be replaced every month, while pleated filters should work around three months. You may also get a washable filter that you can use for about 10 years. If you have children or pets, you may have to replace your filter more often.

To make the procedure easier down the line, draw with a permanent pen on your heating system housing or ductwork to indicate the airflow direction and filter size.

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4. Examine the Condensate Pan

Also known as drain pans, condensate pans hold water your heater removes from the air.

If moisture is leaking from your heating system or its pan has too much water in it, follow these guidelines.

  • If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), check that it’s clear. If it requires draining, use a special pan-cleaning tablet you can get at home improvement or hardware retailers.
  • If your pan uses a pump, check the float switch. If the lever can’t be moved from the “up” position with water in the pan, contact us at 515-344-3579, because you will likely have to get a new pump.
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5. Check for Furnace Error Codes

If malfunctions continue, peek within your heating system’s plastic window to verify the blower motor’s status. Depending on the type, the light may also be mounted on the outside of your heating system.

If you notice anything other than an uninterrupted, colored light or flickering green light, contact us at 515-344-3579 for HVAC service. Your furnace may be giving an error code that requires expert help.

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6. Clean the Flame Sensor

If your heater tries to operate but turns off without putting out warmth, a grimy flame sensor could be to blame. When this takes place, your furnace will make an attempt to turn on three times before a safety mechanism shuts it down for around an hour.

If you feel okay with opening up your heater, brushing off your flame sensor is work you are able to do on your own. Or, one of our heating service specialists has the ability to do it for you.

If you want to clean the sensor on your own, you require:

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

As the next step:

  • Turn off the furnace’s power by using its wall switch or breaker. If your furnace’s gas valve isn’t electric, you must shut off the gas as well.
  • Lift off the furnace’s front panel and track the wire to the flame sensor.
  • Take off the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to carefully scrub 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 could proceed through a set of inspections before resuming regular operation. If your furnace doesn’t ignite, the sensor might require replacement or something else might be causing a problem. If this occurs, call us at 515-344-3579 for heating and cooling repair assistance.
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7. Light the Pilot Light

If you have an aging furnace, the pilot light could be turned off. To relight it, find the instructions on a label on your furnace, or follow these steps.

  • Find the lever beneath your heating system that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
  • Push the switch to the “off” position.
  • Don’t do anything for at least five minutes to limit the possibility for starting a fire.
  • Push the switch to “pilot.”
  • Press the “reset” lever as you move the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
  • Depress the “reset” lever once the pilot light is ignited.
  • If you have gone through the instructions twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or remain lit, call us at 515-344-3579 for furnace service.

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Inspect Your Fuel Supply

Try turning on an additional gas appliance. If it doesn’t operate, your natural gas service may be turned off, or you might have run out of propane.

We Can Provide HVAC Repair

Used our troubleshooting list but your heater still won’t heat?

Call us today at 515-344-3579 or contact us online. We’ll come to your house and diagnose the problem.

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