5 DIY Furnace Fixes

5 DIY Furnace Fixes
  • Opening Intro -

    Having a furnace break down can be a huge, and costly inconvenience.

    Fortunately, there are several tricks you can do on your own to fix the problem.


1. Make Sure That the Thermostat is On

Thermostats, especially those with many functions and buttons, can easily malfunction, causing your furnace to not turn on. Make sure that it is set to “heat” and that the display for the time is accurate. Also check that the battery is working. If the display is correct and the battery has not died, try setting the temperature five degrees above the room temperature. This should make the furnace turn on, since it can become unresponsive if it has been at a set temperature for so long. Also check on and around the thermostat for any debris or broken wires, and make sure all wires are secure.

2. Change Filters

This is one of the most common causes of furnace problems, as a clogged filter will make the furnace turn off. Flat filters should be replaced once a month. Pleated filters, though manufacturers claim they last for three months, can quickly become clogged, especially if you have pets or if there is a lot of dust in your home. Check these once a month by holding them up to the light. If you can’t clearly see the light through the filter, it needs to be replaced. This simple act of replacing the filter will keep your furnace running more efficiently.

3. Check the Ductwork

Over time, ductwork develop gaps or even become blocked, causing restricted airflow. Examine the ductwork, checking for any debris that may be blocking airflow or any gaps that may allow warm air to escape. Gaps are most common between sections of ductwork or at branching points. Use metal duct tape, rather than standard duct tape, to seal it.

4. Clear Debris from Exhaust Vents

Debris, whether that be leaves, grass, dirt, or even birds and their nests, can easily accumulate in the chimney exhaust flue, preventing your furnace from working properly. Turn your furnace off and carefully dismantle the duct to check for debris. Take care when reassembling it; everything will need to go back together in the same way it was taken apart.

5. Make Sure Everything is Turned On

A surprising number of problems with furnaces happen because something, whether it’s the breaker, the pilot light or even the furnace itself has been turned off. Check the circuit breaker, and ensure that no fuses have been blown. Any blown fuses will need to be replaced. For furnaces with pilot lights, make sure that the pilot light is still on and that the gas valve is open. If the pilot light is out, the manufacturer’s manual will contain instructions for relighting it. Make sure the main power switch of the furnace is on: The switch is usually inside the furnace cabinet. By following these five simple troubleshooting tips, you can easily and quickly fix your minor furnace problems and save yourself a hefty repair bill.

Author Information

Having a furnace break down can be a huge and costly inconvenience. At’cher Service heating company in Las Vegas specializes in HVAC system maintenance.

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Categories: Heating and Cooling

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".