Furnace Repair in Laguna Niguel, California: How to Repair 9 Regular Problems

HVAC man working on a furnace

When your heater won’t work, doing your own furnace repair in Laguna Niguel, California, can seem daunting.

There are several time-saving, reasonable fixes you can do yourself to skip a heater service bill.

If your furnace doesn’t turn on, won’t stay on or won’t ignite, take a look at the troubleshooting checklist below in advance of contacting an HVAC professional.

If you discover you need assistance from a heating and cooling expert and live in Laguna Niguel, Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating will be able to help you. We can repair most brands of heating systems.

CALL NOW 949-525-9119

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

While you’re chatting with us, consider a routine furnace maintenance plan from Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating that may help you avoid problems in the future. A team member can tell you how often your heating system should be inspected by one of our NATE-certified professionals.

Use our straightforward list below to get to work on troubleshooting your HVAC system. The majority of these processes don’t have a need for mechanical know-how.

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1. Inspect the Thermostat

First, make certain that your thermostat is signaling your heater to ignite.

Digital Thermostat

  • Replace the batteries if the display is blank. If the digital monitor is mixed up, the thermostat may need to be replaced.
  • Make certain that the control is on “heat” as opposed to “off” or “cool.”
  • Make certain the program is displaying the correct day and time and is scheduled to “run.” If you’re having trouble turning off the program, adjust the temperature by using the up/down arrows and pressing the “hold” button. This will cause the furnace to turn on if thermostat scheduling is trouble.
  • Set the temperature setting to 5 degrees hotter than the room temperature.

If your heat hasn’t turned on within a few minutes, ensure it has electricity by changing the fan switch from “auto” to “on.” If the fan doesn’t start, your heater may not have power.

Smart Thermostat

If you use a smart thermostat—such as one made by Nest, Ecobee, Lux, Honeywell or Bosch—troubleshooting will depend on your model. Check the manufacturer’s website for support. If you’re still unable to get your Wi-Fi thermostat to function, calll us at 949-525-9119 for heating and cooling service.

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2. Examine Breakers and Switches

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

  • Find your residence’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 aren’t wet in advance of opening the panel or breakers.
  • Find the breaker labeled “furnace” or “heat,” and double-check it’s turned “on.” If you discover a tripped breaker, it will be in the middle or “off” spot.
  • With one hand, steadily turn the breaker to the “on” location. If the breaker instantly trips and pops back to “off,” leave it alone and call an expert from Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating at 949-525-9119 immediately.

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

  • Ensure the control is flipped up in the “on” position. If it was turned off, it could take your furnace up to five minutes to start. (If you’re unsure where to locate 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 breakdowns, a grungy, clogged air filter is often to blame.

If your filter is too grungy:

  • Your heater won’t stay on, or it could get too hot from reduced airflow.
  • Your utility costs could increase because your heating system is turning on too often.
  • Your heating system may fail sooner than it should since a filthy filter forces it to work harder.
  • Your heater might be cut off from power if an overly filthy filter is the cause of a tripped breaker.

Based on what model of heater you use, your air filter will be in the interior of the blower compartment of your furnace, an attached filter case or wall-mounted return air grille.

To replace your filter:

  • Cut the power to your heating system.
  • Pull out the filter and hold it up to the light. If you can’t view light through it, get a new one.
  • Put in the new filter with the arrow facing toward the heating system to prevent damage.

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

To make changing your filter easier down the road, write with a permanent pen on your heating system housing or ductwork to list the airflow direction and filter size.

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4. Inspect the Condensate Pan

Commonly known as drain pans, condensate pans capture water your heating system pulls from the air.

If liquid is leaking from within your heating system or its pan has standing water in it, use these recommendations.

  • If your pan has a drain (look for a PVC pipe), make sure that it’s clear. If it needs to be drained, 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 can’t be moved from the “up” position with water in the pan, call us at 949-525-9119, because you will possibly have to buy a new pump.
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5. Watch for Heating Error Codes

If faults keep on happening, peek at your heating system’s plastic window to check the blower motor’s status. Subject to the model, the light could also be attached on the outside of your heater.

If you see anything except a solid, colored light or twinkling green light, reach us at 949-525-9119 for HVAC service. Your furnace may be giving an error code that needs expert service.

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6. Brush off the Flame Sensor

If your heating system attempts to operate but turns off without putting out warm air, a filthy flame sensor might be to blame. When this happens, your heater will try to ignite three times before a safety mechanism turns it off for approximately an hour.

If you feel confident with removing the panels from your furnace, gently scrubbing your flame sensor is something you are able to do personally. Or, one of our heating service experts has the ability to finish it for you.

If you want to clean the sensor personally, you should have:

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


  • Disable the heater’s power through its wall switch or breaker. If your gas valve isn’t electric, you will need to turn off the gas as well.
  • Take off the heater’s front panel and trace the wire to the flame sensor.
  • Remove the rod and use your sandpaper, steel wool or emery cloth to carefully clean the metal rod.
  • Clear the rod with a paper towel.
  • Remount the sensor.
  • Replace the furnace doors.
  • Restore power to the furnace. It could proceed through a set of examinations before proceeding with regular operation. If your heating system doesn’t ignite, the sensor could require replacement or something else could be creating an issue. If this occurs, get in touch with us at 949-525-9119 for heating and cooling repair help.
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7. Relight the Pilot Light

If you are using an older heater, the pilot light could be extinguished. To light it, look for the steps on a sheet on your furnace, or follow these guidelines.

  • Locate the switch on the bottom of your heater that says “pilot,” “on” and “off.”
  • Push the switch to the “off” position.
  • Take a break for at least five minutes to avoid starting a fire.
  • Push the knob to “pilot.”
  • Press the “reset” switch as you bring the flame of a long lighter to the pilot light opening.
  • Release the “reset” switch once the pilot light is lit.
  • If you have gone through the instructions twice and the pilot light still won’t burn or remain lit, contact us at 949-525-9119 for furnace service.

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Inspect Your Fuel Supply

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

We Can Provide HVAC Repair

Followed our troubleshooting sheet but your heating system still won’t work?

Reach us now at 949-525-9119 or contact us online. We’ll make a call at your house and pinpoint the problem.


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