Do-it-yourself Furnace Repair & Maintenance
Here are some tips and tricks to try if your furnace won’t start or kick off.
We Are Not Professionals and Only Offer This for Informational Purposes. If You Do Not Know What You Are Doing, Call a Professional!
When Doing Anything With Your Furnace, Always Make Sure You Turn It Off From the Main Power or Breaker First!
The last thing you want during the cold winter months is furnace trouble. Heating issues not only make your home uncomfortable but also may lead to additional problems—not to mention that calling a repairer isn’t always in the budget. Whether your furnace isn’t turning on at the correct temperature, is shutting off at the wrong time, or is flashing with indicator lights, these tips will help keep your home warm and save you money.
Furnaces are dangerous. Proceed with caution, and remember that there’s no shame in calling a professional.
Check the Thermostat
This should be your first step. Most thermostats are battery-powered, so be sure to change the batteries regularly to avoid issues. If the thermostat seems to be in working order, the problem is most likely located in the furnace.
Restart the Furnace
It’s always worth it to try a simple restart. To restart your furnace:
- Switch the power to the furnace off
- Remove the furnace cover
- Turn the gas valve to the off
- Wait at least five minutes for all gas to clear out
- Turn the gas to the on position, replace the cover, and turn the power back on
Troubleshooting Other Furnace Issues
1. Check the Air Filter
- A dirty air filter can interfere with a furnace’s functionality. If your air filter appears dirty, try replacing it with a new one.
2. Check the Vents
- Make sure none of your vents are blocked. Check for furniture, clothing, or other items that could have been moved, causing an accidental blockage.
3. Check the Safety Switch
- Most furnaces have a safety switch that is pressed inward when the cover is on, kind of like the light in your refrigerator.
- If this switch isn’t pressed, the furnace won’t turn on. Check to ensure that the cover is pressing the switch fully.
4. Check the Igniter
- If you can smell gas, but there’s no flame, it could be an issue with your igniter.
- Remove the igniter, and check for a break or signs of corrosion. A replacement will cost somewhere around $40 (handle with care).
5. Check the Heat Sensor
- To regulate temperature, your furnace uses a flame sensor (or thermocouple). Remove it and check for signs of corrosion.
- If the sensor is corroded, the temperature might be reading incorrectly. Use a piece of sandpaper to clean it.
How to Thaw Your Pipes
Call the Front Office first, as there is a chance your meter could have broken as a result of your pipes freezing.
1. Open all faucets
Open all of your faucets to see if any water flows. If it does, run warm water through the pipes. This can help thaw a frozen spot in the pipes.
2. Locate the frozen spot
If no water flows, locate the most likely spots where pipes might freeze.
Check crawl spaces and points where pipes run outside.
3. Heat the frozen spot
Open the faucets in the house. Use a hairdryer or a portable heater to warm the frozen spot. After a few minutes, water should flow freely.
If the above does not work, you can call the front office to rent a turbo heater for under your home.
How to Install Window Weather-stripping
When it comes to saving on utility bills and reducing discomfort during the winter months, weatherproofing your home is essential. Properly weatherized windows and doors can lower your utility bills by as much as 15%, but hiring a professional can cost a bundle. Fortunately, with some basic materials and a few helpful tips, you can protect your home against cold weather without breaking the bank. You should begin weatherizing your home with one of the most basic means of protection against the cold: weather-stripping your windows.
1. Check for Leaks
- Check window exterior for any obvious leaks, paying close attention to areas around the edge of the trim
- Check window interior for leaks between the trim board and drywall
- Check for gaps around the edge of the interior window frame
- Check for gaps where the window slides against the trim board
2. Fill the Gaps
- Apply caulking to seal any leaks around the exterior and interior window frame
- Install your foam or rubber weatherstripping to the upper and lower edges of the window, making sure that the window will still be able to close and lock once the weatherstripping is in place
- Where the window slides against the trim board, apply rub rail caulking (or removable weather stripping)
3. Install a Window Kit
- Clean the interior window frame and apply double-sided tape (included)
- Stretch plastic wrap to fit and press the edge firmly into the tape
- Heat with a hair dryer to stretch the plastic taught
- The plastic wrap will create a layer of “dead air” to buffer between outside and inside temperatures
How to Install Heat Tape
- Measure all pipes under the home including shutoff valves. If manufacturer’s manual for the mobile has the length of heat tape that is required for the home you can eliminate this task.
- Make sure that all joints are sealed and that there are no water leaks along the pipes under the home. Any leaks will cause damage to the pipe insulation and can short out the heat tape. Make any necessary repairs.
- Begin by putting the plug next to the outlet. Run the heat tape along the entire length of the freshwater supply pipe. The heat tape can be placed along the side of the pipe or wrapped around the pipe. Use electrical tape to secure the heat tape to the pipe. It is very important that the heat tape does not overlap itself.
- Wrap pipe insulation or pipe jackets over the entire length of pipe. When this is completed, wrap a waterproof wrapping around the insulation for added protection.
- Plug the heat tape into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter receptacle located under the mobile home for this purpose. Since there is a thermostat, the heat tape will come on as necessary.
Tips & Warnings
Winterize Your Home
If you’re living in a manufactured home and facing your first winter, you may not be aware how difficult it can be to keep a manufactured home warm. Taking the proper steps to winterize your manufactured home cannot only help keep you warm, but keep your heating bills down and also ensure that you safeguard your home against severely cold weather.