How to fix your furnace and save the $200 service charge

This is only the beginning...

Hi everyone, this is my first hub and if you don't like it let me know and i'll tell you why i don't care. :)

I work in the HVAC Service Industry. Strictly commercial, but i know all about residential as well. There are certain things you shouldn't pay for, because some of the basics are just so basic knowing absolutely NOTHING about your furnace or air conditioner you can still fix it and save yourself the staggering price of somewhere between $99 to $159 an HOUR for hvac service.

So let's get started with the FURNACE.

Here are some basic tools you'll need most likely.

-5/16'' hex nut driver

-1/4'' hex nut driver

If you don't have those tools don't worry about it, you might need them and you might not. So here's the 5 most basic things to check your furnace for BEFORE calling your tech and dishing out the dough.

  1. THE FURNACE SWITCH

i CAN'T REMEMBER HOW MANY COUNTLESS TIMES THE SWITCH THAT TURNS ON THE POWER TO THE FURNACE HAS BEEN TURNED OFF BECAUSE SOMEONE THOUGHT IT WAS A LIGHT SWITCH.

Best way to check if its on is look at the switch. If you have an all electronic thermostat and its blank, good chance your switch is off.

2. THE BREAKER

PRACTICALLY THE SAME AS THE ON/OFF SWITCH, SOMETIMES THE BREAKER JUST GETS TURNED OFF BY MISTAKE. TURN IT BACK ON AND LET IT RUN FOR A FEW MINUTES. IF IT TRIPS AGAIN YOU HAVE A BAD MOTOR OR A WIRE TOUCHING GROUND, IF YOU KNOW ELECTRICAL PROCEED WITH CAUTION, IF YOU DON'T, NOW IS THE TIME YOU JUSTIFY CALLING A TECH.

3. LOOK WITHIN

ON ALL NEWER FURNACES THE OUTER DOOR HAS A SMALL HOLE SOMEWHERE WHERE YOU CAN LOOK THROUGH THAT HOLE AND SEE A BLINKING LIGHT. SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO TAKE OFF ONE DOOR TO SEE IT. THAT BLINKING LIGHT IS A CODE.

LETS SAY IT BLINKS 2 LONG BLINKS, 3 SHORT ONES, THAT MEANS 23.

LETS SAY IT BLINKS 8 SHORT ONES, THAT MEANS 8.

AFTER YOU FIGURE OUT THE CODE ITS GIVING YOU, AND CHECK IT 3 TIMES TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT ONE, KILL POWER, REMOVE THE DOOR YOU WERE LOOKING AT, AND CHECK ON THE OTHER SIDE FOR THE WIRING DIAGRAM GLUED TO THE DOOR. SOMEWHERE ON THAT SHOULD BE A CODE REFERENCE, MATCH UP THE CODE, AND SEE IF ITS SOMETHING YOU CAN FIX.

IF IT SAYS SHORTED FUSE, CHECK STEP 4. IF IT SAYS GOING OUT ON HL (HIGH LIMIT) CALL A TECH. BASIC FIXES YOU CAN DO, BUT REMEMBER ANY TAMPERING WITH YOUR FURNACE CAN VOID YOUR WARRANTY, SO DON'T DIVE DEEPER THAN YOU CAN SWIM.

4. THE 3 AMP FUSE ON THE BOARD

Here's where it starts to get tricky. This one requires a few steps.

  1. Turn the power to the furnace off. Either flip the switch or kill the breaker so you don't get shocked.
  2. Take the furnace door off. Depending on the brand there will be between 1 to 3 doors, take them off so you are looking at the electrical section of the furnace, typically in front of the blower door near the bottom of the furnace.
  3. Look for a small fuse. It looks like this TT ignore the lines sticking outsideways on the 2 t's and that's what it is, basically a fork that's purple or orange that plugs into the board. It will read 3 or 5 on it.
  4. Pull out that fuse if it has one, sometimes its got a reset, sometimes it has nothing, but if it does, pull out that fuse and check it.
  5. If the small wire connecting the two sides has popped, go to a hardware store and buy a small box of 3 or 5 amp fuses, replace one and see what happens, if it pops again, you have short somewhere, if you can't see wire rubbing anywhere, call the tech, you have a low voltage problem.

5. Last One-Air Flow

Say its summertime and your not getting very much cold air blowing out, you go outside to see if your ac is working and see a massive amount of ice on the bigger copper line going all the way inside your house, go inside and lo and behold its going inside your furnace as well.

Or say its wintertime and your not feeling any air coming out of the vents but you feel a lot of heat and when you go downstairs you see its all working best you can tell.

CHECK YOUR FILTER

EVERY SINGLE SYSTEM HAS AN AIR FILTER DESIGNED TO TRAP DIRT AND DEBRIS FROM GOING INTO YOUR BLOWER MOTOR AND CAUSING DAMAGE. IF THIS FILTER IS NOT REPLACED EVERY 1 TO 3 MONTHS, THE FILTER GETS TOO PACKED WITH DIRT AND THE AIR CANNOT EASILY TRAVEL THROUGH IT. WITHOUT ENOUGH AIR GOING OVER THE COIL IN WINTER OR SUMMER, YOU CAUSE MASSIVE PROBLEMS. NEVER LET A FILTER GET EXTREMELY DIRTY!

Comments 5 comments

sean 8 years ago

i had an idea on how i could get the cold air in my basement to the loft where it is extreamly hot no matter how low i set the ac temp. When i began doing research i found a site called powerzoning.com. if you could, take a look at the site and let me know if you think it makes any sense and if you think it would be worth looking into further


Trey 6 years ago

Alright I had the same thing. 3 amp fuse keeps blowing. I don`t have an ac hooked to this like a lot of these posts everywhere, just a furnace and a thermostat for heat. I`ve been working on this for 2 days and I can say after all this I found that I had an intermittent problem but didn`t know it. I`d check something and then 20 mins later I`d check it and it was different. Make sure things you already checked are the same 20 mins later. Overall, i found thermostat wire wore thru were it enters the furnace and shorting to ground. i changed the board and thermostat, but as it turns out it was the short and no need for that stuff. The best way to fig this out is, disconect the thermostat at the board see if fuse blows, if so short inside furnace. If not, short out thermostat at board and while leaving thermostat wire DISCONNECTED. If blown then maybe board, or short, keep looking. If it doesn't short its the thermostat wire somewhere on its way to thermostat.


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toneyahuja 6 years ago from India

great one how to fix your furnace or air conditioner and save money wao great it is nice one. Air Sponge Filter co. offers a full line of furnace filters, air conditioning and ac filters for home or office we deal in furnace filter.

www.airsponge.com


Kevin 3 years ago

great article, my problem was a little bit more complicated,

www.heatingandcoolingtechsupport.com called me back quick and was able to help me troubleshoot the problem with my furnace. saved the service call and replaced the ignitor myself


jace1234 3 years ago

Thanks for all the info! Question for you my furnace is squealing horribly when the heat is running. Its an Amana air command. Can i just turn it off and open the bottom door and oil it or is it going to be a production? I don't want to mess with it if it will just make it worse!

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