DIY Furnace Repair Tips

Do it yourself furnace repair tips can come in handy if there are easy problems to fix with your home heating unit. Sometimes the breakdown of a furnace unit can be easily solved by simple maintenance procedures. Save money and increase your heating system’s efficiency and comfort by following these simple maintenance steps to keep your furnace in peak condition especially during the cold winter months.

Routinely inspect the burner flames. First, turn the power switch on and activate the burners by turning up your thermostat. Then inspect the burner flames. These should be even and blue. If not, call a professional.

Change the furnace filter. Change the furnace filter every one to three months. A $1 fiberglass filter will adequately protect the blower and blower motor. If you want to install a more expensive, high-efficiency filter, check the owner’s manual for the manufacturer recommendations. High-efficiency filters can restrict the airflow, strain the blower motor and make your furnace less efficient. If you want cleaner air, the best option is a separate air-cleaning system. Changing furnace filters on a regular basis increases the unit’s efficiency, resulting in lowered energy bills, and cleaner air.

Use special metal tape to seal leaky air ducts. Cracks in air ducts will affect your furnace’s functionality to operate at its best performance. Seal leaky ducts, especially return air ducts, with special metal tape or high-temperature silicone. Then conduct a back drafting test to make sure the combustion gases go up the flue: Adjust the thermostat so the burners come on. Hold a smoking stick of incense beside the draft hood. The smoke should be drawn into the hood. Also, inspect the exhaust vent pipes on your furnace and water heater (while they’re cool). White powdery residue can indicate corrosion. Call in a professional to fix these problems.

If you smell natural gas in your home, it could be a furnace gas leak. This requires immediate attention. First turn off the gas supply valve, typically located by your gas meter on the gas inlet pipe by rotating the valve one-quarter turn with an adjustable wrench. When the gas is off,  the valve’s oblong stem points perpendicular to the inlet pipe. Then call your gas utility or the fire department from a remote location. Do not return to your home until you know it is safe.

For basic heating or cycling problems, there are a few steps you can take:

  1. Check to make sure nothing is inhibiting or blocking the flow of warm air. Something as simple as dust could intrude on these parts.
  1. Check your thermostat and make sure it is set to “heat” and that the fan is set to “on” or “auto.” Do further testing by trying to raise the set temperature 5 degrees higher and waiting a few minutes to see if your house warms up.
  1. Make sure the room heating valves are open. It sounds like a simple mistake, but a room could be cold if the room heating registers are closed and your first instinct is to think your furnace is broken.

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