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If there is power to the thermostat and the furnace:
*The AC Disconnect is a little box outside on the wall next to the exterior unit that looks like this image. There is a handle that pulls out and flips. The entire thing will turn and it should say "on".
You may have more than one air filter to check depending on the size and layout of your home. Sometimes they're attached to the unit, and most commonly, they're larger return vents that suck air in (they don't blow air out). If the air filters are clogged, this will dramatically impact your unit's cooling ability.
If this is your first time turning on heat this season:
The gas is on if the valve is parallel with the gas pipe, and it is off if the valve is perpendicular to the gas pipe.