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.
- 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.
- Turn the power to the furnace off. Either flip the switch or kill the breaker so you don't get shocked.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!