A home’s furnace is an essential, crucial part of surviving the cold, winter months in Northern California. Waking up in the middle of the night to find your furnace is having difficulties providing heat can really mess up the rest of your day.
Believe it or not, some issues with your furnace may be easy to fix yourself. While it is always recommended to hire HVAC professionals to perform maintenance repairs, below are 4 do-it-yourself tips you may consider for your home’s furnace.
Although it may seem silly, many people experience difficulties because their thermostat is not set to heat. This might be simply because the switched moved during dusting or you forgot to put it on. Nevertheless, check the thermostat and make sure it is set to heat. Turn it to at least 5 degrees more than the room temperature, check the batteries (your thermostat might need new ones) and then give it 5 minutes to start working.
It is a good idea to check the surroundings and location of your thermostat as well. If it is next to a lamp, near the oven or other sources of heat, it might be receiving incorrect input.
Another thing you must check among first is the filter. Filters are exposed to dirt and dust and with time they can get clogged. This further impedes the airflow and can even prevent your furnace from turning on and working properly. Before you check it, make sure that your thermostat is off as well as the furnace, then check your air filter.
It is best that you do a regular checkup, every month. If you are not sure whether the air filter needs cleaning, hold it up to a light source. If light can’t pass through it easily, you will need to clean it. If cleaning doesn’t help, it is time to install a new one.
If the first two are fine, then you should check the switch and the electrical panel as the issue may lay in the power source. To do this, first check whether the furnace switch is on. You might have forgotten to turn it back on after a cleaning. If it is on and still doesn’t work, check the breaker/fuse box to make sure that the power is turned on. If the break switcher is moved, first flip it all the way off then flip it on. Hear the sound click, and then give it another try.
If when the furnace is turned on and the breaker goes back to off, or you see any signs of electrical damage or moisture, do not risk it, don’t touch anything and contact a professional.
Another possible issue may be blocked vents. Make sure that there is nothing standing in the way and blocking the vets restricting the flow of air into the furnace. If the vents are blocked, then they will cause excessive air pressure which will result in duct leaks and premature HVAC breakdowns. Make sure the vents are unblocked in every room, including those which you do not use that much.
A common mistake that many people do is try to save money by closing off vents in rooms they are not using. The issue with this method is you won’t save money, and may severely damage your home’s heating system.
Peterson Mechanical has been in the residential HVAC business for over 100 years. We pride ourselves in doing the job right the first time, every time. Even if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, we encourage you to give us a call at (707) 938-8481 whether it’s to ask us questions or to request maintenance for your furnace. For more information, visit our HVAC Service page or contact us today.