The average gas furnace costs the American homeowner over $3,500. You can expect this big investment to last over 15 years. You can also extend the life of your gas furnace by troubleshooting a couple common problems and also some advice about preventative measures you can take to keep your furnace running through even the coldest nights.
Here's a quick guide to helping you repair three common gas furnace problems: blower and pilot.
As its name implies, a furnace's blower blows the hot air produced by the system. Essentially, it's a small but powerful fan that circulates heat through your home's heating system. Overtime, the blower's fan can be felled by an accumulation of gunk and dust.
If your furnace seems to be in working order but no hot air is being circulated through your heating ducts, you should start with the following blower repairs.
Tidy up: this is a step that should be completed at least once a year. Start by removing your furnace's outer casing so that the blower and motor are accessible. Once accessible, you should use a strong Shop Vac to tidy up any dust that may have settled in and around the blower. If possible, use a narrow and slender vacuum attachment direct the suction in every nook and cranny you can get at.
Oil up: at the base of your blower's motor you should see oil ports. These ports help lubricated the blower's motor shafts. Apply a few drops of oil to these ports.
Brush up: the most common culprit of furnace blower issues stem from malfunctioning fan blades. Use a stout wire brush or steel wool to scrub the fan's blade clean.
Your furnace's pilot is the flame that ignites the gas the system uses to generate heat. When a pilot sees to function optimally, gas escapes and the system cannot function efficiently or safely.
You can detect a pilot issue by observing the pilot flame for a few minutes. If you notice that the flame flickers the way a candle flame susserates in a breeze you are seeing signs of a potential pilot issue. However, before you attempt to repair a pilot you should always switch off the gas valve feeding your furnace.
Adjust it: a common pilot issue is a flame that's too low to properly fire the system. You can adjust the pilot flame with a screw found at the base of your pilot. Turning it right will tighten the screw, which will raise the pilot's flame.
Clean it: because a pilot flame is continually lit, the opening responsible for feed the flame gas can clog or become corroded. You can use a stout wire brush to clear any gunk for the pilot's opening. If corroded, however, you will need to replace the pilot's opening. This process isn't difficult, but you must consult your furnace's owner's manual for specific instruction about your unit.
Open it: another root cause of many pilot issues is a supply issue. If your gas line is not fully open, your pilot will struggle to stay lit. When you fire the system back up, you should attempt to turn the supply valve open to maximum capacity. If you aren't able to completely open the valve, you may need to replace the seal or lube the valve's screw to help you open it further.
Maintaining a furnace is important to maintaining one of your home's most expensive and vital systems. Following the steps above can help you fix common gas furnace repairs, which can prolong the life of your unit and help you avoid costly service calls.