Basic do-it-yourself furnace repair and maintenance can extend your furnaces life, save a lot of energy, and save you from a great deal of frustration.
Regularly changing your furnaces air filter is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to maintain the efficiency of your furnace and the air quality within your home.
What a hassle! This blasted, foolish furnace! Dammit! shouts an exasperated Ralphies father in the classic, A Christmas Story. Then, his father continues his unintelligible cursing as he tumbles down the stairs to their basement to fix their broken furnace. The narrator (the adult Ralphie) states, During the heat of the battle, my father weaves a string of obscenities that, to my knowledge, is still over space in Lake Michigan.
Have you ever been in a situation like that? It is understandable to feel such strong emotions when your furnace decides to take the day off on an extremely cold day. But a few fundamental do-it-yourself furnace repairs and maintenance can save your day and limit unexpected problems. You can set-up a tune-up with your technician of choice every year. But remember again that you can pull off some do-it-yourself furnace repair on your own to save on pricey repairs.
Ensure that you shut off the furnaces power prior to working on your units motor to let you safely tinker with it for as long as you need. But when youre just changing the air filter, you can do so without having to turn off the oil or gas supply. However, you must turn the fuel supply off for the rest of the other maintenance procedures. But prior to doing it, you must be able to relight the pilot light on your own.
With the majority of heating systems, changing your thermostat with a programmable, digital thermostat will save a lot of energy. These modern thermostats will make adjustments on your home temperature on its own to make sure you are comfortable when inside the home, and save on energy costs when youre out.
At the very least, replace the air filter in a forced-air furnace system every month. An excellent programmable thermostat will give out a reminder when a change of filter is necessary. Some professionals suggest cheaper fiberglass filters. Meanwhile, some will suggest midrange filters capable of trapping smaller particles. The performance of a furnace must not be affected whether you regularly change your filters or not. Choose your filters depending on you or a family members sensitivity to certain airborne particles. Vacuum your blower and other accessible parts of your furnace every few months. Dust will still build up on your blowers blades even with constant filter replacements.
But if you own an older model, like a propane or natural gas furnace, oil both its motor and the blower shafts. You only need to drop a few drops of the 20-weight oil needed on a yearly basis. The majority of newer models come with sealed bearings that do not need oiling.
A V-belt connecting to an electric motor might be the one powering your furnace blower. If you have fraying or cracking belts, a replacement is undeniable. Even though the belt appears good, you still need to inspect its motor and the motor pulleys if they are aligned. If not, you have a belt that easily wears out sooner in your midst. It is a bit noisy too. In aligning it, loosen up the screws holding its motor securely, and then proceed in aligning the pulleys with the use of a metal carpenters square. Then, you can finally tighten back its screws.
Change the air filter to maintain the clean fuel that flows to your oil-burning furnace. Read the owners manual once more to know how to bleed air outside of its fuel line. But it might no longer be needed for your unit. Check the fuel lines and its connections regularly for signs of leaks. To find out more about oil furnace maintenance and repair, search for Oil-furnace troubleshooting.
For hot water systems, bleed the air out of the radiators every year. While your system is running, just expose the bleeder valves on each radiator until the water comes out. It must do so without sputtering. Be ready in catching the water and be very careful since it is hot. There are several kinds of bleeders among radiators. You can open some with the use of screwdrivers while some already have a special knob or key in place for easy access.
For all kinds of furnaces, ensure that the exterior vents and chimneys are free of leaves, snow, nests, etc. They can cause blockages and result in carbon monoxide hazards. Leaking flues are high-risk for fire and carbon monoxide hazards. Thus, be on the lookout for joints or cracks that are starting to separate as a precaution.
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