There’s nothing worse than waking up to a broken furnace during the winter months. Thankfully, there are some furnace issues that you can easily troubleshoot and repair yourself if you have a bit of DIY experience. And while we don’t recommend taking furnace repair into your own hands (unless you’re a licensed professional), it’s still practical to have knowledge of stop-gap measures to keep minor problems from worsening into full-blown HVAC emergencies.
That being said, there are definitely several user-friendly furnace repair tips that are quick, easy, and simple enough to remember for the next time your furnace unexpectedly breaks down.
1. Lacking Heat? Oil the Blower
When preparing for the winter season, you need to make sure all components of your furnace are in working order—and that includes the furnace blower. The main function of this component is to draw heat from the system and distribute it throughout your home. By keeping it well-lubricated, you’ll be able to improve its protection against wear and tear, effectively lengthening its lifespan.
2. Use a Vacuum to Clean Burners
Burners are yet another crucial component of your furnace, and should, therefore, be kept in tip-top shape at all times. To check the state of your burner, look at the flames in your furnace. If they are blue and even, then your burner is likely clean. If they have a yellowish hue, then they’re likely covered in a healthy sprinkling of dirt. Using a vacuum cleaner to get rid of dirt is one of the simplest furnace repair tips—just make sure you turn the gas and power off first.
3. Always Check the Vents
If your furnace is blowing out less heat than usual, it could be obstructed. To troubleshoot, go through all the vents in your entire home and make sure nothing is blocking them. A piece of furniture or cloth—like a curtain—could be covering the opening of one or more vents, which is enough to prevent heat flow.
4. Still Not Working? Reset the Circuit Breaker
If your furnace still isn’t producing heat like it used to, you may need to reset your home circuit breaker. Flip the switch back and forth for a bit before leaving it in place (make sure it’s staying in the “on” position) and checking your furnace again. If this doesn’t work, it might be a problem with the circuit board, in which case this no longer calls for furnace repair. Call in the professionals to have your breaker checked out.
5. Switch Out the Clogged Filter
A furnace that struggles to produce heat indicates several things, but mostly it means you should probably check your filter. Is it clean and in good condition? If not, then a replacement may be the answer. Install your new filter properly by checking directions, and double-check that you’re putting it in right. Putting it upside-down can reduce its effectiveness.
Although DIY troubleshooting helps a lot, nothing beats having your furnace system inspected by professionals periodically, or at least as often as the manufacturer suggests. Signing up for regular maintenance prevents minor problems from escalating into a major issue.