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Temperature Control

The following information refers to issues related to the getting your heating or furnace to operate. However, all of the below issues also apply to getting your cooling or air conditioning operating as well. When dealing with a cooling issue just exchange COOL for HEAT in most situations.

My furnace (or air conditioner) won’t come on!

Two things need to occur for the furnace to come on. 1) Your furnace needs to be enabled or activated so that it is able to respond to the temperatures that you have set up in the Temperature Settings section of the Home Manager. Do this by going into the HVAC CONTROL screen (DIRECTORY – OTHER COMMANDS). At this screen you’ll have a box for each of your furnaces (they’re technically referred to as Air Handlers). Select the box for the furnace of choice. That will take you to the HVAC Control screen. In the upper right hand corner a box labeled System Mode will indicate the current status of that furnace. It will be either OFF, HEAT, COOL or AUTO. The furnace will operate in either the HEAT or AUTO modes. Select the button and enter one of these selections if necessary. 2) The second condition to having the furnace come on is that there must be demand for heat in at least one of the rooms for which that furnace provides heat. You establish your desired temperatures in the TEMPERATURE SETTINGS area of the system. For the furnace to come on and heat a room, the current temperature must be at least 1 degree less that the desired temperature that you have entered for the current time. With some of the older Home Manager systems, the average temperature of all the rooms on a particular HVAC system need to be l degree less than the desired temperatures.

The HVAC System mode is on AUTO or HEAT and my temperature settings are normal and the furnace still won’t come on!

There is a small switch located on the door of your Home Manager main control panel. This is the unit that is typically located in the garage, closet or mechanical room. It’s about 3 feet tall, 15″ wide and either green or gray in color. The switch on the door should always be in the rightmost position. The leftmost position of the switch puts the system in a manual mode, which for most installations prevents the heating and cooling systems from operating. With the switch in the leftmost position, you will probably also get a series of damper calibration errors on the error log of the system. For most installations there is no reason to ever have this switch in the leftmost position. Move it to the rightmost position.

The switch on the control panel door is in the rightmost position and the furnace still won’t come on!

Let’s determine whether or not the Home Manager is attempting to turn the furnace on. Navigate to the HVAC CONTROL screen (DIRECTORY – OTHER COMMANDS) and select the unit in question. At the top of the next screen you’ll see a table with rows labeled Furnace, Air Conditioner, Fan, etc and columns labeled Demand and Current. Under normal conditions, when the furnace is running both its demand and current will be ON.

If the demand is not ON, then the Home Manager is not instructing the furnace to turn on. In this case, go to the main control panel enclosure (typically located in the garage, a closet or mechanical room). On the upper left corner of the door is a switch next to the red and green lights. This switch needs to be in the rightmost position for the furnaces to function. The green light should be on as well.

If the demand is ON and the current is OFF, this is an indication that the furnace unit is not responding to the Home Manager.

This may be due to the furnace not getting main power. Look around the furnace for a switch that turns the furnace on. Sometimes the switch is on the wall and appears similar to a light switch. Sometimes it’s a small switch located next to a fuse. Sometimes there isn’t a switch at all, but a cord coming from the furnace that needs to be plugged into a normal receptacle.

The front covers on the furnace may not be secure. Most furnaces incorporate safety switches inside the front covers that prevent them from operating when a cover is removed. The covers need to be on tight and typically screwed in place to properly secure them.

If neither of the above solutions get your furnace back running you are probably experiencing a problem internal to the furnace and should probably recruit a furnace specialist. If you are comfortable pulling the covers off the furnace yourself and prying inside, you could look for the first thing that a furnace technician would look for. Inside most furnaces are multiple heat sensors that trip when the area around them gets too hot. These are in place to immediately shut the furnace down if the area gets hotter than it normally should. The manufacturers figure this to be a good alternative to burning the house down if something goes wrong. And they’re probably right. The good news is most of these heat sensors can be manually reset. Most appear to be a button with two wires coming off of them. There are typically 3 or 4 of them in a furnace. Check each of them by pressing their button. Sometimes you can’t tell if they are tripped or not. Just push them all to make sure they are all reset. Secure the covers back on the furnace and see if that gets your furnace going. Again, if you are not comfortable probing around the insides of a furnace, please call a furnace technician and have him or her do it for you. We don’t want to be responsible for getting you fried when working in an area you aren’t qualified to be working in.