Home Furnace Repairs not for Do-It-Yourselfers
There may be a few items on your home heating unit that you can do on your own, but for your safety, and that of your family, it is best to have any service done by a qualified furnace service technician. Consider first the cost of the unit and the role it plays in your family’s comfort and you will soon realize that there are very few user-serviceable parts inside.
There are many different parts in any type of heating unit that can go bad and while they may seem easy enough for the do-it-yourselfer to change, if they are not working together they can cause considerable headaches later on…if not sooner. Regardless of the type of heat you use, there is something in the system that creates the heat to warm your house and some can cause fires or explosions if not properly repaired or installed. Even pre-season checks should be done by a qualified technician that knows what to look for and has the right tools to do the job.
Looking at a forced-air furnace that uses natural or propane gas, there are several parts that can go bad and except for a few items, they need to be replaced by the qualified technician. Some of the things that can be done by someone with minimal mechanical knowledge include:
•Re-lighting the pilot light
•Cleaning and adjusting the pilot light
•Replacing the thermocouple
•Adjusting the burner
•Quiet a squeaky blower fan
When the pilot light goes out the furnace will not light. In fact, if the furnace’s systems are working correctly, gas will not flow unless the pilot light is lit. Lighting the pilot is a fairly simple process and the steps are typically located in or on the furnace and by following the steps the light should be able to be restarted.
If after a few attempts the pilot will not light or won’t remain lit, the gas line may be clogged. Cleaning the line is not something for the faint of heart and you may be better served calling in an expert in furnace repair. The gas line will need to be removed from the unit and blown clear before reattaching it and trying it again.
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Replacing the thermocouple is fairly easy but it must also be positioned correctly in order for the pilot light to stay lit once a new one has been installed. You will need to turn off the electricity to the furnace and shut off the gas before attempting this fix. Again, you may be better served calling on the furnace service technician if you do not have any experience with your furnace.
Adjusting the burner usually requires the adjustment of the amount of gas that is mixed with air and a wrong turn can completely shut it down or make it too high to be safe. A technician will be your best option for this repair. Oiling your blower motor fan is usually without risk as the motor will usually have two ports into which the oil is placed. A few drops is all that is needed but you have to adjust the fan belts, call in a technician to ensure they are lined up properly.
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