There are few things worse than having a heater that isn’t working properly. Not only will you have to deal with a lack of heat until you can get things fixed, but the actual process of calling an HVAC repair service to take care of the problem can get expensive. Fortunately, things don’t always have to go that far. There are some DIY heater repair tips and tricks that you can try to get your furnace running again. While you should attempt these tips at your own risk, they just might save you the time and money of a service call.
First of all, you should know some basic maintenance tips when it comes to your heater. As always, you should be checking your HVAC system’s air filters at least once a month and changing them whenever necessary. This will improve the efficiency of your furnace and ensure that it isn’t wasting too much energy.
You should also vacuum the area right in front of your furnace’s blower once a year, preferably before the main heating season starts. If you can remove the fan unit safely, do so and clean off the fan blades with a brush. Much like changing the air filters in your furnace, this will improve your heater’s efficiency.
The Pilot Light
If you have an older furnace that relies on a pilot light, there are a few things you can do to ensure that it stays lit. If the pilot orifice is too clogged to keep the light burning, it can be cleared out with a piece of thin wire. Simply insert the wire into the orifice to knock any debris loose. Make sure you turn off the gas and the electricity to the furnace before you do this to avoid any accidents.
If you still can’t keep the pilot light lit, your problem might be that the flame adjustment screw needs to be opened up. Keep turning the screw according to the directions in your owner’s manual until you have a two-inch blue flame with no yellow in it.
Other Simple Tips
While there is technically a lot that can go wrong with a modern heater, many of these problems can be fixed relatively easily. If you notice that you aren’t getting enough heat from your vents, check your thermostat to see if it is set correctly. Most modern HVAC systems have programmable thermostats that can be set and adjusted with a few pushes of a button. To check if everything is working properly, try raising the temperature by five degrees and waiting a few minutes. If all is well, you should feel the temperature change.
If your thermostat seems to be working properly, check to make sure that there is nothing blocking the flow of warm air and that all the heating registers are open. This sounds obvious, but you would be surprised at how often people fail to do this.
Finally, if you have tried everything you can safely do and your heater still isn’t working, call a repair technician. Even if your problem turns out to have a simple solution, it’s always best to play it safe when it comes to your home’s HVAC system.
Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.