We understand that not everyone is an expert in home repair, and for some it can be a little nerve racking to tinker with things you may not fully understand. Here are some tips to help ease some concerns the average home owner may have.
One of the best things you can do for the health of your home and your furnace is the simplest bit of preventative maintenance. Changing your air filter reduces dust and allergens in the home, and changing it every single month is much better than remembering once in the fall when you have the first cold night where the heat kicks on. Program it in your phone so you can’t forget, you will pat yourself on the back for it!
If your home is like most, it is equipped with a gas furnace. Some are built with a hard surface igniter, while other units have a pilot light. For those that have a pilot light that goes out and won’t relight, don’t worry, you might be in luck! The thermocouple might be bad, it sounds bad but its a cheap fix and relatively easy to change. You can locate it by looking in the door for the pilot light. It is a small copper tube that runs from the pilot to the control module in the front of the furnace. Carefully remove it. Run to the local hardware and match up the length with a new unit. In most cases, it costs less than $20. Replace the new unit and light your pilot by following the lighting instructions on the front or cover of the furnace.
For those with the hard surface igniter, you will be able to replace it pretty easily, though not all igniters are located in the same place and may require a bit more participation via exploration to find said igniter.
Most other fixes on gas equipment is best suited for a pro, unless you are an electrician in a closely related field of expertise.
Indoor Wood Heat
For people with indoor wood heat, you can do maintenance related things to save funds like sweeping your own chimney. Be careful getting on the roof and never do it while it is raining or is icy.
Depending on your homes construction you could, at some point, end up with a section of the house that gets very cold. Checking and repairing duct work is not a hard task to complete. Start at the point nearest the cold part of the home and check for things like gaps in sections of ducting or sagging. Sometimes it is as simple as putting in a couple of screws or slapping on some tape.
If you have round insulated ducting and a cold room, first address any sagging if it exists. If there is a sagging part is heavy, you might have found the problem. Sometimes toys from the kids find their way into places that they should not be. To fix this, take a knife and cut the tape holding the ducting to the register vent. At the blocked area, lift and shake until the debris is removed. Fit the ducting back to the vent and tape it!
These are things most anyone can do. It saves time and money, and it might build a little pride knowing you didn’t have to call someone to get it done.
Charlie Teschner started MESA Heating 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.