Furnace Maintenance for Dummies

Knowing how to repair your furnace will save you time and money. Regardless of the type of furnace you own, there are a few things you need to know to help keep your heating system working properly.

Typically when there is a heating malfunction it is due to the heat source, the distribution system, or thermostat. If your furnace isn’t working properly, first check the source. It may have lost power or fuel may not be reaching/ igniting the unit. The blower or distribution system may be malfunctioning if the furnace turns on but the warm air isn’t reaching the rooms of your home. In some cases a faulty control or thermostat could force the system to turn on and off repeatedly or keep it from turning on at all. In all cases, most often the problems can be handled with a simple procedure, a little patience and common sense.

When attempting DIY Furnace Maintenance, make sure you do the following:

1. Test to be sure the unit is receiving power. Check for fuses that might have blown or tripped circuit breakers at the main panel.

2. Near the motor housing, check for the “reset” button. Wait 30 minutes to let the motor cool and then press the button. Continue pressing every 30 minutes until it starts.

3. Be sure the “on” switch is turned on and that the thermostat is also set to ‘on’. If it is you will hear an audible ‘click’ that indicates the system if turning on. If you don’t hear that, there is most likely a problem with the thermostat.

Also, following these safety precautions will help to eliminate accidents:

  1. Before doing any work on your heating system be sure the power to the main system is turned off.
  2. If the fuse blows or the circuit trips continually when the furnace is turned on than you have an electrical issue. In this case, call a professional because it does not have to do with your furnace.
  3. If there is a smell of gas in your home and your unit uses gas, do not try to shut off the gas or turn any lights on or off. Immediately leave the house and keep the door open. Call the Gas Company or fire department to report a leak. Wait until they give you the “okay” before reentering your home.
  4. You should have your heating and cooling systems professionally serviced once a year.

Understanding how your furnace works will help you maintain it and ensure that you get many years of service out of it. While you can generally take care of the problems and minor issues yourself, be sure that you stay safe. However, if you find that you are experiencing extreme difficulty with your furnace repair, be sure to call a qualified professional to help.