Do-It-Yourself Guide to Furnace Repair

If your furnace is older than 15 years, it’s likely time to replace it rather than repair it. This is the cutoff for deciding whether to repair or replace a furnace, according to most heating contractors. Repairing an older device can cost more than replacing it and could result in poor performance, higher energy bills, and even carbon monoxide leaks.

You should also consider replacing a Furnace Repair when repairs are going to exceed $2,000, the device is making loud and scary noises or you can smell gas in your home. A new unit will provide superior comfort, save you money on energy bills, and reduce the risk of safety issues.

The most common problems that occur with a furnace are usually simple to fix with some do-it-yourself experience. Many of these repairs aren’t even necessary if the device is properly maintained.

A clogged air filter is often the culprit of a running furnace. If you’re not sure whether or when to change yours, check it by holding the filter up to a light. If you can see light through it, it’s time to change the filter.

If your system is turning on and off frequently or cycling on and off, you should check the thermostat to ensure it’s set to “Heat” and that the temperature dial hasn’t been accidentally flipped over to the cool setting. It’s also possible the circuit breaker that controls the heater has been tripped.

The pilot light on a gas-powered furnace is another easy repair. This switch is usually lit with a small flame that can be easily re-lit. If it’s extinguished, you can find instructions on how to do it in your owner’s manual or on the furnace itself.

You should also keep your blower motor bearings lubricated, vacuum the blower’s housing and test ductwork for air leaks. A leaking blower is a sign that your blower has to work harder than usual to heat the house, which can lead to premature wear and tear on its motor bearings.

Some furnace problems are more complicated, such as a damaged gas line or carbon monoxide leaks, which should be left to a professional to address. However, a furnace that is in need of just three easy-to-fix parts—the igniter, flame sensor and gas furnace high-limit switch tubing—can be saved by a homeowner with some basic DIY skills.