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Is DIY Furnace Repair Possible?

Is DIY Furnace Repair Possible?

When a furnace provides less heat or stops working, a handy homeowner might consider DIY furnace repair as a quick, affordable alternative to paying the high cost of heating repair. However, most homeowners are more eager to call an HVAC repair contractor. We’ll look at whether it’s possible to fix a furnace yourself (and reasons not to attempt it) and if the issue requires calling for help in the first place. 

What Are the Limits of DIY Furnace Repair?

There aren’t too many heating repairs you can do without expertise. Furnaces are complex machines and can be dangerous to work with. The types of repairs you can perform are limited. The only type of work you should do on your furnace is:

  • Change the Air Filter: A technician will replace your air filter during annual maintenance. However, it should be changed every one to three months, depending on how much you use your furnace. Check the filter every month and change it if it’s dirty. This prevents airflow issues that can affect your heater’s performance.
  • Replace the Thermostat: You can replace an old thermostat that has broken down. This allows you to benefit from a modern programmable thermostat that works with smartphone apps and uses Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It can help you save energy. But realize you must turn the power off at the breaker switch before removing the old thermostat and unscrewing the back cover. Note where the wires are connected (or take pictures) and disconnect and reconnect the wires in the appropriate places.

Check the owner’s manual for instructions specific to your thermostat and furnace. If the project requires re-wiring or adding wires to the system, you’ll need a trained HVAC specialist or an electrician to help.

  • Clean Your Furnace: Depending on the model, you can safely open the access panel and complete tasks such as vacuuming the burners (make sure the furnace and gas supply are off). You can also brush dust off the blower blades and wipe the flame sensor with an emery cloth. Using a drinking straw, blow air over the pilot and hot surface ignitor to remove dust.

Risks of Fixing Your Own Furnace

Any other type of DIY furnace repair is hazardous and can have serious consequences. Without the proper knowledge, experience, and tools, you cannot, for example, safely replace an inducer fan or a gas valve. The dangers of doing so include:

  • You Could Make the Problem Worse: If you haven’t thoroughly diagnosed the issue, trying to fix it may not resolve the matter and could cause more damage. You could miss the underlying problem, apply too much force, or use the wrong tool. Therefore, more components can break and repairs will be more extensive than if you hired a professional from the start.
  • You Could Void the Warranty: Most furnace warranties cover only repairs done by a qualified professional. If something goes wrong, the manufacturer will consider the warranty voided, meaning any repair costs won’t be covered. Warranties also often mandate the use of certain parts brands and that a licensed, bonded, and insured technician follow specific guidelines and industry best practices.
  • You Could Be Injured or Worse: A DIY furnace repair is dangerous. If you proceed without knowing what the problem is, faulty wiring can cause shock or electrocution. A gas leak can lead to a fire, an explosion, or exposure to carbon monoxide. It’s too easy to overlook an issue like a faulty burner or pilot light. One missed detail can get you in a whole lot of trouble.
  • Seemingly Minor Symptoms Can Indicate Something Worse: Short cycling, reduced airflow, and some noise may not seem serious. However, they could indicate a problem that’ll lead to more extensive damage or a breakdown if not corrected in time. A professional is thorough. They know where to look based on the signs and have the equipment to determine their source.
  • The Cost of Repairs Will Be Much Higher: If your DIY furnace repair attempt fails, you’ll likely face much higher repair costs on top of losing warranty coverage. Considering the cost of parts and labor, that’s a lot to pay out of pocket. If you intend to save money on furnace repair, hire a professional for the job.

Find Out If It’s a Repair Issue

If you’re a DIYer who thrives on being handy, you can first determine if you have a furnace repair issue. Furnaces can work less effectively for many reasons. Not all of them are serious. Here are some simple issues you can resolve:

  • Check that the thermostat is on the heat setting and reset it if necessary.
  • Increase the temperature setting if it’s not higher than the current indoor temperature.
  • If the furnace/thermostat isn’t on, check and reset the circuit breaker.
  • Make sure air vents and registers are open and not blocked.
  • Check the pilot light; if the burner flame is yellow, call a professional.

Call Waldrop for Professional Furnace Repair

Whether you have a gas or an electric furnace, Waldrop’s trained professionals can fix it right the first time. They are prompt, thorough, and respectful. No matter what type of repair you need, you can count on our technicians to ensure your furnace is functional, safe, and efficient. Prompt repairs and proper maintenance can help your heating system last longer. To schedule furnace repair in the Greenville and Spartanburg region and learn about financing options, contact us online or call (864) 536-0887.

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Greenville, SC

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Waldrop has taken care of our HVAC since our house was built (2006). We get maintenance twice a year – spring and fall. This year, Kevin suggested the Phenomenal Aire unit. It cleans the air

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Marietta, SC

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Had the best experience with Waldrop, we will forever be in their debt. Not only the most professional group of men but the most honest, stand by your word company! I would recommend Waldrop to

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A friend recommended Waldrop after he had a visit last week. Our A/C was not cooling as well as it should, and the Split “Smart” thermostat was doing crazy things on the first and 2nd


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