Multi-Cultural Fiction
April 3, 2017
April 19, 2017

DIY Furnace Troubleshooting & Repairs

If your home is heated with a forced-air heating system, a furnace or a heat pump is at the heart of it. Here we look at how to handle furnace problems from a furnace working poorly to a furnace not working at all. For heat pump problems, see Heat Pump Troubleshooting & Repairs.

Though forced-air furnaces are normally quite reliable, they can break down. To avoid break downs, it pays to know how to take care of your furnace and fix it when something goes wrong. Inevitably, a furnace stops working when you need it most. Consequently, fixing becomes urgent very quickly. The following instructions will help. With a little do-it-yourself experience and the proper guidance, you can troubleshoot and repair a variety of furnace problems yourself.

The video that follows shows how a furnace works, as well as some of the DIY repairs you can handle. The voiceover is a bit robotic, but the information is solid.

 

General Maintenance

For starters, once a year, vacuum out the area around the furnace’s blower. If possible, also slide out the fan unit, clean each fan blade with a toothbrush, and then vacuum with a brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner. While you’re at it, look for oil ports on the motor, normally located near the motor shaft. If the motor has these, apply two to three drops of non-detergent motor oil into each port (you may have to remove a cover plate to do this). Though most contemporary motors don’t require lubrication, do lubricate motors with oil ports once a year. For any help we have furnace repair service to keep you safe.

 

Gas Leak

If you suspect a furnace gas leak, deal with this immediately! First, if you smell natural gas in your home or near the furnace, do not light any matches or turn off or on any switches. If the gas odor is strong, immediately evacuate your house, leaving the door open.

shut off gas leak

To shut off the gas supply to your home, turn the valve until it rests perpendicular to the supply pipe (here the gas is on).

Turn off the gas supply valve, typically located by your gas meter on the gas inlet pipe. Turn off the gas 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.