An 8 year old furnace likely has all the controls on a circuit board. They are tough to trouble shoot, and it take a lot of confidence in your diagnose to cough up for a new one. Check the sticky at the top of the heating forum for sequence of operations of a gas furnace. Also, is the red light flashing?
To do simple checks like this you do need some tools. A test light, a meter, or a voltage detector might be the best place to start with. I came across the niftiest gadget for trouble shooting, a voltage detector. They work through the insulation of wires. There are several brands. I have a GB Instruments GVD-505A, less than $15 at Home Depot. Touch it to a hot wire, and the end glows red. Find the doodad that lights it on one side, and not the other, and you have the culprit. You do not have to open up housings and expose electrical contacts. You are looking at where your hand is, not where the meter is. Most people are capable of doing repairs and will get it going and not get hurt if they use a little sense. The voltage detector makes it even easier.