resetting furnace

Easy Ways to Reset a Furnace: Five Steps

With fall just around the corner, many people are taking into consideration the state of their own furnaces. They see quite a lot of use in the later months of the year, providing homes and businesses across the United States with a warm and comfortable environment. However, there comes a time where your furnace seems to malfunction or stop working entirely.

In some of the simplest of cases, many people might find a lot of benefit from doing some of the simplest of steps to solve their problem. If the furnace is new but causing problems, resetting the appliance is potentially all you need to do. However, resetting furnace units can be difficult due to how it’s built and the complexity of the machinery.

If you need help with your furnace or need to get it repaired, call Clover Contracting. Our team of technicians and HVAC specialists are available 24/7 to help you out whenever you need it. That’s also why we’ve put together some of the easiest ways on resetting furnaces.

How to restart furnace units like a pro

Restarting a furnace can be a simple and quick thing that anyone can do. Many furnaces use some degree of power to turn on and off whenever the home’s thermostat sends a signal. In order to do that, however, the furnace needs to be connected to the home’s breaker box. 

In order to restart it, all you need to do is turn the power off from there. However, there are a few things you need to take into consideration before you go ahead and restart the furnace.

Check your furnace’s filter

Sometimes, the reason the furnace is malfunctioning or not turning on is due to the current filter being dirty. The dust and debris that collects on it can build up over time, restricting the flow of the air that can get to the furnace itself. In older furnace models, the little air that can get through can cause the appliance to overheat. 

If you find that the furnace isn’t turning on and that the filter is dirty, that’s one way to tell that it’s a newer model. Many newer heating systems have a safety mechanism built in to prevent the overheating, shutting off whenever the filter is dirty as a sign to change it.

Check the pilot light

If your filter is clean but the furnace still doesn’t seem to work, you can take the next step by checking the pilot light. Your furnace’s pilot light is what lights the boilers that are needed to heat the air. To check the pilot light, all you really need to do is look inside of it when the appliance is off. If the pilot light isn’t on, you just need to relight it to get it to start. 

Restarting the furnace from the breaker box

The final and most straightforward way to restart furnace units is to use the HVAC breaker box. As mentioned before, the furnace requires electrical power to be able to receive a signal to run and stop whenever the thermostat senses the need. If your furnace isn’t working, you can turn the power off to the outlets that the furnace draws power from. 

Before you do flip the switch though, make sure to set the thermostat to five degrees lower than your desired indoor temperature. Then, find the appropriate breaker and turn it off, making sure that you only do so if the breakers themselves aren’t damaged. Leave the breaker off – or breakers if your house uses more than one – for a minimum of ten minutes before turning the HVAC breaker on. 

To check if it worked, go to your thermostat and set the heat setting to a temperature above the room temp you want. If it works, the furnace will eventually turn on.

How to reset a furnace unit

Many furnaces often have a special switch or button that acts as a safety feature. In certain situations, the reset button will quickly turn the entire HVAC system off in order to stop the heat from growing too much and overheating the furnace itself. 

If you’re resetting furnace units inside your home, you should be able to find it inside the blower’s compartment. The button is typically a bright red or yellow. If your furnace does need to be reset, often before the circuit breaker is tripped, the furnace will activate the reset itself. 

Manual resets can be done, and aren’t all that uncommon, so there’s no need to worry if you need to do it yourself once in a while.

How to manually reset furnace units

If you’re manually resetting furnace units in your home, the first thing you need to do is make sure the pilot light is off. Along with setting the thermostat to its lowest possible temperature, it ensures that the furnace won’t turn on accidentally. Turn off both the breaker for the furnace and the main gas supply line while leaving the pilot light’s main gas supply open. 

From there, light a match and hold it to the pilot flame’s opening, waiting until said pilot light is relit. Then, turn the breaker on and open the main gas supply line. Once the steps have been done, all you need to do is press and hold the reset button for 30 seconds. If you want to check that the furnace is working again, increase the thermostat’s temperature to your desired warmth.


As simple as these steps are, it is important to take your own safety into consideration first. As mentioned, avoid touching the HVAC breakers if any are broken and call a specialized technician or an electrician to fix it before trying again. 

You should also avoid touching the breakers with wet or damp hands and when relighting pilot lights with the match, never put it into the opening. Doing any of these will drastically increase the risk of electrocution or even cause an explosion. If you would rather avoid any accidental damage to your home, you can call Clover Contracting for help with your furnace, no matter the time of day. 

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