Fall is in the air and many homeowners are turning their furnaces on for the first time this year. Some are apprehensive, wondering whether the system will work correctly or if they’ll need to call in a professional to do some expensive repairs.
Taking the time to have your heater inspected can help prevent these concerns and keep your system running in tip top shape. It’s also helpful to know what to look out for, so you can quickly call in a repair tech if necessary.
A dirty air filter will cause the system to overheat, which can damage the unit. Replacing the filter is a simple DIY fix that can save you money on energy costs and avoid the need for a costly furnace repair.
If the unit shuts off frequently, there could be a problem with the flame sensor. The flame sensor gets dirty over time from the hot, smoky exhaust and can create a coating that reduces the signal it sends to the circuit board to turn on. Simply cleaning the sensor with an emery cloth can remove this coating and restore the furnace to normal operation.
Pinging and banging noises from the blower are a common sign of overheating or a belt that needs to be replaced. These are easy DIY fixes, but if the sounds persist, you should call in a professional to inspect and fix the problem.
Smelling a foul odor from the vents is a serious issue that should be addressed immediately. If the odor is strong, the gas leak may be worse than you think. Gas utilities add a chemical that smells like rotten eggs called mercaptan to natural gas to make it easier to detect a leak. This helps you and your family get the attention you need before it becomes a dangerous situation.
If your ductwork is leaking, it can cause your heating to run inefficiently and waste energy. Sealing the ducts can be done by sealing leaky joints with metal tape or high-temperature silicone. You can also adjust your duct dampers to change the seasonal settings to send more warm air downstairs (winter setting) and less upstairs (summer setting).
If you’re considering a DIY Furnace Repair, remember to work with someone who has experience in these tasks. Attempting a repair that is above your skill level can lead to damage and costly repairs. If your furnace is nearing the end of its life or is aging beyond the 10- to 15-year mark, you might want to consider replacing it with a newer model. A new furnace will likely be more efficient and offer a longer warranty. It’s a good idea to get quotes from local vendors before making a decision. This will give you an idea of the price range of new furnaces to compare with the cost of repair services.