Furnace Repair in Rapid City, South Dakota: How to Repair 9 Common Problems

HVAC man working on a furnace

When your heating system won’t kick on, doing your own furnace repair in Rapid City, South Dakota, can appear like a big undertaking.

There are a few time-saving, inexpensive solutions you can take care of yourself to avoid a HVAC repair call.

If your furnace doesn’t turn on, won’t run consistently or won’t ignite, try the troubleshooting guide below in advance of calling an HVAC pro.

If you come to the realization you need support from a heating and cooling pro and live in Rapid City, Precision Mechanical can help you. We are able to repair most types of heaters and also have emergency furnace repair.

CALL NOW 605-206-3766



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

While you’re in touch with us, consider a regular furnace maintenance plan from Precision Mechanical that might help you avoid breakdowns down the line. We can tell you how often your HVAC system ought to be examined by one of our NATE-certified professionals.

Use our simple checklist as demonstrated to start troubleshooting your heater. Most of these steps don’t require mechanical know-how.

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1. Check the Thermostat

To start, make sure your thermostat is instructing your heat to ignite.

Digital Thermostat

  • Change the batteries if the display is blank. If the digital screen is jumbled, the thermostat could need to be replaced.
  • Ensure the control is on “heat” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
  • Make certain the program is showing the correct day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having trouble getting out of the schedule, set the temperature by using the up/down arrows and using the “hold” button. This will cause the heater to ignite if thermostat settings are a problem.
  • Increase the temperature setting to 5 degrees warmer than what the room temperature currently is.

If your furnace hasn’t kicked on within a few minutes, make certain that it has juice by switching the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t begin to run, your heater could be without power.

Smart Thermostat

If you use a smart thermostat—like one designed by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will be determined by the model you have. Check the manufacturer’s website for assistance. If you aren’t able to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to operate, contactl us at 605-206-3766 for heating and cooling service.

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2. Inspect Breakers and Switches

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

  • Look for your house’s main electrical panel. If you don’t know 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 prior to touching the panel or breakers.
  • Find the breaker marked “furnace” or “heat,” and ensure it’s reading “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” position.
  • With one hand, firmly switch the breaker to the “on” spot. If the breaker trips right away and pops back to “off,” don’t try to reset it and call an expert from Precision Mechanical at 605-206-3766 quickly.

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

  • Ensure the lever is flipped up in the “on” spot. If it was switched off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to ignite. (If you don’t know where to find your furnace, look in your basement, garage or utility closet. It may also be in a crawl space or attic.)
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3. Buy a New Air Filter

When we consider heating problems, a filthy, blocked air filter is often the top offender.

If your filter is too dirty:

  • Your heating system won’t stay on, or it might get too hot from reduced airflow.
  • Your utility bills might increase because your furnace is turning on more often.
  • Your heating system could stop working sooner than it should because a dirty filter triggers it to overwork.
  • Your heater may lose power if an extremely filthy filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.

Based on what make of furnace you own, your air filter will be inside the blower compartment of your furnace, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.

To put in a new filter:

  • Switch off your heating system.
  • Remove the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t notice light through it, get a new one.
  • Put in the new filter with the arrow motioning toward the heating system to prevent damage.

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

To make changing your filter go more quickly down the road, use 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

Otherwise known as drain pans, condensate pans hold moisture your heating system pulls from the air.

If liquid is leaking from your heating system or its pan is overflowing, follow these steps.

  • If your pan contains a drain (look for a PVC pipe), double-check that it’s clear. If it should be drained, use a special pan-cleaning tablet you can buy at home improvement or hardware retailers.
  • If your pan has a pump, inspect the float switch. If the button can’t be moved from the “up” position with liquid in the pan, reach us at 605-206-3766, because you will probably need a new pump.
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5. Check for Heating Error Codes

If faults persist, take a look at your furnace’s plastic window to check the blower motor’s status. Dependent on the brand, the light might also be fixed on the exterior of your heater.

If you notice anything other than a solid, colored light or twinkling green light, contact us at 605-206-3766 for HVAC service. Your furnace might be communicating an error code that needs specialized assistance.

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6. Scrub the Flame Sensor

If your heater attempts to work but switches off without putting out warmth, a filthy flame sensor might be at fault. When this takes place, your furnace will make an attempt to start three times before a safety mechanism shuts it down for around an hour.

If you feel okay with removing the panels from your heater, gently scrubbing your flame sensor is work you have the ability to do on your own. Or, one of our heating service experts is able to complete it for you.

If you are fine with cleaning the sensor yourself, you need:

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

Next:

  • Shut off the heating system’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If you don’t have an electric gas valve, you have to turn off the gas in addition.
  • Remove the furnace’s front panel and follow 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.
  • Clear the rod with a paper towel.
  • Put the sensor back in.
  • Put the furnace doors back on.
  • Turn the furnace’s power back on. It might go through a series of tests before proceeding with regular running. If your heater doesn’t start, the sensor may have to be replaced or something else might be creating an issue. If this occurs, contact us at 605-206-3766 for heating and cooling repair support.
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7. Reignite the Pilot Light

If you are using an outdated furnace, the pilot light could be extinguished. To light it, locate the guide on a sticker on your furnace, or use these guidelines.

  • Locate the switch beneath your heater that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
  • Move the switch to the “off” position.
  • Don’t do anything for at least five minutes to limit the possibility for starting a fire.
  • Turn the dial to “pilot.”
  • Push the “reset” button 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 followed the instructions twice and the pilot light still won’t ignite or stay lit, contact us at 605-206-3766 for furnace service.

condensate pan icon

Examine Your Fuel Supply

Try turning on a second gas appliance. If it doesn’t work, your natural gas source might be shut off, or you might have run out of propane.

We Can Provide HVAC Repair

Went through our troubleshooting guide but your heating system still doesn’t operate?

Reach us right away at 605-206-3766 or contact us online. We’ll come to your house and diagnose the problem.

CALL FOR SERVICE NOW 605-206-3766

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