There’s nothing quite so uncomfortable as waking up cold to a poorly-functioning furnace or one that does not work at all. Worse still, if you have to wait for someone to come over and take a look at it for you. While a handyman can fix your furnace for you, you can tackle some types of furnace problems by yourself. Here are some DIY furnace repair tips from experts to save time and money and get your home warm asap.
Check before meddling (if the furnace does not work)
Before you start tearing your furnace apart, take care of the obvious.
- Ensure the thermostat is set to heat your interiors.
- Ensure the thermostat is set to at least five degrees above the room temperature.
- If your thermostat runs on batteries, ensure the batteries are working.
- If you have an electronic or programmable thermostat model and the system is on a timer, check the date and time.
- Check to ensure the heating registers in the room are open.
- Check your home’s breaker panel. Check the circuit controlling the furnace. Has it switched to the “off” position? If it has, e the breaker by flipping in on and off back and forth several times and then ensure it is in the “On” position.
- Reset the blower motor by pressing the reset button. If nothing happens, wait for about half-hour, so the motor has a chance to cool down before you try the reset button again.
- If yours is a gas furnace, you must check if the pilot light has gone out.
- Walk around the house to check all the vaults and ensure nothing is obstructing or blocking them.
Ensure proper maintenance (if the furnace does not produce enough heat)
When furnaces do not produce enough heat, the problem is most often with maintenance. Clogged filters are common, but they are also the easiest furnace repair problem to take care of at home.
Locate the filter – it often looks like a grate in the ceiling, wall, or floor. Check the air filter – you can do this by simply holding it up against the light. Ensure it’s in good condition and not clogged. No light will shine through if it is blocked, and the filter must be changed. Here’s how you do it.
Ensure the furnace is off because no air should be coming out.
- Check the direction of the old filter points. The filter is designed to fit a particular way and trap matter blown from one direction. If you install a filter the wrong way, it could reduce the furnace’s effectiveness.
- Remove the old filter and replace it with a new one.
Noisy furnaces or ducts
A noisy furnace can be irritating. Rumblings and squeaking are unusual and often indicate:
- A clogged burner
- Airflow reduction
- Mechanical problems
If the air running through the ductwork causes a loud noise, insulating the ductwork can reduce the noise drastically.
Sometimes an improperly adjusted pilot light can cause the furnace to make unusual noises.
Oiling the blower motor ports can reduce unusual noises as well.
An issue with the belt (for example, a slipped belt or a belt that needs replacement) can lead to unusual squealing noises in the furnace.
Loose panels can cause rattling noises.
There are some furnace repair problems that you should not attempt to fix yourself. For example, gas leaks, furnace replacement, and faulty flame sensors require professional service. The simple checks listed above can help you detect most furnace problems. You can also determine if the problem can be solved on your own or if you need to call in a handyman. Minor furnace repairs require five-minute solutions that you can do yourself.