DIY Furnace Repair and Maintenance

If you own a heating system and have been using it for a long time, you’ll know there comes a time when it inevitably encounters technical issues. So, what do you do when your furnace acts up? Typically, most furnace owners reach out to professional maintenance personnel without any delay. But did you know you too could solve certain minor technical issues?

If you didn’t, read on. In this post, we’ll take you through some of the handiest DIY furnace repair and AC Maintenance tips. But before we get this post going, we’d like to remind you that it’s important to call the professionals if you run into a problem that you can’t solve. Simply put, tinkering with the components of your HVAC system without having any clue about what you’re doing may cause severe damage to your appliance. So now that we have the words of warning out of the way, let’s get right into it!

1. Check for clogged filters

Clogged filters in furnaces are common occurrences. However, they are problems that need solving right away. You see, filters trap dirt and other contaminants present in your indoor air. Over time, the accumulated dust may become a tad too much for the filters to handle. As a result, your furnace has to work incredibly hard to make sure that fresh air is pumped out from the system. While this won’t be too much of a problem in the short term until you get it fixed, in the long run, it can significantly raise your electricity bills.

Checking for clogged filters is something you can do on your own. Check your appliance’s owner’s manual for instructions or go online and find tutorials. Trust us, you’ll find a lot of them! Following the instructions provided across these tutorials will allow you to not just repair clogged filters, but replace them as well if needed.

2. Make sure that the burner flames are burning at their best

The purpose of owning a furnace is to feel warm even during the harshest days and nights of winter. But what good is a furnace if it can’t provide the heating you need when you need it? In such a scenario, you should immediately check the status of the furnace’s burner flames.

To get to the burner flames, you need to first remove the door of the combustion chamber after turning the air conditioning system off. Once you’ve removed the door, you can turn the power back on again. Next, check for the color of the burner flames after engaging the thermostat. If the burner flames are burning blue and evenly, there’s a problem elsewhere. However, if the flames are uneven, there’s a problem. Yellow flames suggest excessive carbon monoxide production and require immediate intervention by professionals.

Image credit https://unsplash.com/photos/lH-UZuoG-aY

3. Clean ducts and vents regularly

Your furnace’s filters aren’t the only things that need cleaning – the ducts and vents also require cleaning from time to time. Dirt and other contaminants can create blockages in the ducts and vents too. Typically, removing these blockages is an easy affair, and something that you don’t need to reach out to an AC service company for.

Open all vent covers and separate the ducts (if there are multiple ducts). Next, power on your vacuum cleaner and clean the ducts and vents by inserting the extension hose of your vacuum cleaner. Once the ducts and vents are thoroughly clean, you’ll easily be able to make out the difference it makes. We recommend regularly cleaning your furnace’s ducts, filters, and vents for optimum efficiency.

4. Vacuum the burners too

Your furnace’s burners may be protected by the combustion chamber door, but dust and dirt may make their way to the burners through the tiny gaps in the door. Over time, dust and dirt can prevent the burners from burning the way they’re meant to, resulting in inefficient heating. In rare cases, dust often accumulates in clusters, becoming large combustible objects, which can trigger fire hazards.

So, when you’ve got the vacuum cleaner out, don’t just stop at the ducts and the vents. Take some extra time out to remove the combustion chamber door and give the burners a thorough cleaning. Trust us – it’s a great way to increase the energy efficiency of your furnace and also prevent accidents.

5. Spare a thought for the blower

The blower is the component of your heating and cooling system that pushes hot/cold air through the ducts and vents. If it is unclean, it will fail to perform its air circulation functions in an efficient manner.

So, when you’re performing AC repair and maintenance by yourself, remove the blower unit and use a combination of vacuum cleaning and manual brush-cleaning to get rid of the accumulated dirt. Remember to be careful with your movements, as rapid cleaning runs the risk of the blower’s wiring or counterweights sustaining damage.