Furnace Repair is one of the most costly repairs a homeowner can face, but the good news is that preventive maintenance can help keep the repair bills to a minimum. We talked to experts in Furnace Repair who told us that the majority of furnace problems are caused by simple fixes, such as clogged filters, dirty flame sensors or loose ductwork panels. We also asked them to tell us which Furnace Problems should only be handled by professionals and which can be done at home.
Popping noises are a sign that the metal inside the unit is expanding or grinding against other parts, such as the blower wheels. This can cause damage or a fire, so a professional should examine it. Rattling noises can be a sign of air leaks in the ductwork, or a loose panel. A simple duct tape will usually fix this, but if the noise is coming from the motor, it’s time to call a professional.
A loud rumbling sound is typically a sign that the furnace is working too hard, but it can also be caused by a blown gas line. This is an urgent problem that should be fixed as soon as possible, because a gas leak is extremely dangerous for you and your family. If the smell of gas is present, turn off the furnace immediately and call your local gas utility company for help.
If the furnace is making a humming sound, it’s probably time to replace the filter. A new filter should improve airflow and make the furnace more efficient.
The ignitor is the part that lights your furnace, and it’s easy to clean. First, turn off the power to the furnace by turning the switch on the circuit breaker panel to the “off” position. Then, remove the ignitor from the burner assembly and carefully remove any dirt or dust with fine emery cloth. Then, replace the ignitor in the same manner.
The flame sensor is the other part that can be easily cleaned, but you’ll need to remove the combustion chamber cover to get to it. It’s a little easier to reach on the modern, newer models that use hot surface igniters in place of standing pilot lights. You can also clean it by removing the cover and blowing air on it with a straw.
Finally, you should lubricate the blower bearings once every three months with a drop of oil in the cup. It’s also important to vacuum and clean the area around the furnace regularly, ensuring that all flammable objects are removed and the blower is free of debris. Remember to always have the blower set to the low setting and to change the furnace filter often. You can even test the ductwork for air leaks by lighting an incense stick near the vents, but be sure to have the breaker turned off before doing this. Also, a clogged filter will strain the blower and may cause it to overheat sooner than usual.