If you think you can tackle a few DIY heater repairs, think again. Not only can DIY heater repairs be dangerous, but they can also cause electrocution and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Depending on the type of heater and its brand, this can cost anywhere from $400 to $600. The cost also depends on the manufacturer, the location of the heater, and whether it is still under warranty. If you do not feel confident doing this yourself, you can always call a professional. DIY furnace repair can save you between $100 and $300.
There are some signs that a professional should handle it, however, including noisy HVAC noises, constant cycling, and poor airflow. If that’s the case, you can contact Excel Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. or your local merchant. Read on to learn more about furnace repair basics. And do not forget to wear the proper safety equipment.
DIY Furnace Repair
1. Reset Ignition control
A simple step to reset your heater’s ignition control may be all that is needed to restart your heater. If you do not have the manual for your heater, you can watch a video to learn how to reset your ignition control on a DIY heater. In the video, you will learn how to clean the flame sensor and clean the igniter to get the heater running again.
To do this, turn off the power to the heater and remove the burner door. Using a soft cloth, wipe the igniter with a cotton rag or cloth to remove any accumulated carbon buildup. Make sure you read all the safety tips by clicking here, then, replace the burner door and turn the power source back on.
2. Replace a bad run capacitor
To replace a bad run capacitor for DIY heater repair, start by disassembling your old starter. You may only need to remove one or two screws. Some are even snap-on. Regardless, it is important to carefully disconnect the three wires attached to the capacitor.
Be sure to place them in a convenient location where they will not get in the way. If you accidentally disconnect the wires, they may still hold a charge. Another way to determine whether you need to replace your capacitor is to listen for humming noises from your heater.
3. Replace a clogged air filter
If you are interested in performing a DIY heater repair, it is best to have at least basic knowledge about HVAC systems. Depending on your heater’s type, you may need to replace the air filter or replace the entire unit. Before replacing the filter, turn off the heater. Locate the air filter in the heater or the air return vent.
The filter should have an arrow indicating the direction of airflow. Use a permanent marker or sticky note to mark this direction. To replace the filter, measure the length and width of the filter. A dirty heater air filter can cause a few problems, including increased energy bills, a higher carbon footprint, and respiratory problems.
It may also be preventing your heater from shutting off properly. To replace a clogged air filter, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Once you have followed the manufacturer’s instructions, remove the old filter and replace it with the new one.
4. Replace a blower motor
Before replacing the blower motor, you should shut off power to the furnace and unbolt any access panels. Next, locate the blower motor. You may find two separate blower units or a single unit. If the motor is separate, it may be attached to the blower housing with a bolt.
The motor itself extends into the center of the squirrel cage wheel. Then, unscrew the metal frame rails that hold the motor in place. Identify the cause of the problem. You may have a bad blower motor, or you may find that the motor is not spinning smoothly.
Check the motor for wear and tear by feeling it with your hand. Look for oil ports. If you see oil, the motor is not spinning freely. If the motor is leaking oil, replace it. If you cannot find any oil ports, the motor probably needs to be replaced. The cost to replace a blower motor for DIY furnace fixing varies.
5. Replace a heat exchanger
If you have tried attempting a DIY furnace project but were unsuccessful, you may want to hire a technician to fix the problem. However, this can lead to dangerous problems. A damaged heat exchanger can leak toxins into the air, including carbon monoxide.
Typically, this is harmless in small quantities, but over the course of 18 to 20 years, the exchanger can leak a significant amount of gas. If you have an old furnace, replacing the exchanger is like putting a new engine into the machine.