Winter Warmth: 5 Easy DIY Furnace Maintenance Tips Anyone Can Do

A warm home is one of the great pleasures of winter. There are few things better than an evening curled up on the couch watching a good holiday movie with homemade snacks.

But none of this is possible when the heat in your house isn’t working. And not all of us can afford to call a furnace repair technician every time something is off about our heating system. “There must be a way I can do this myself,” we think.

And there is! While some jobs are best left to the professionals, there are several pieces of furnace maintenance you can do yourself with the right tools and instructions. Heat can’t buy happiness, but it goes a long way toward giving you a sense of pride in your home.

Below, we list a handful of these fixes for you to tackle. Read on, and do your best!

Furnace Maintenance and Fixes You Can Do On Your Own

Some of these maintenance items are simple adjustments you can do with your tools. Others require replacements parts. But all of them require a minimal level of expertise, so the learning curve to becoming your own heating handyman is anything but steep.

1. Clean the Combustion Chamber

This is where fuel mixes with air to generate heat. Here’s what you can do to clean it.

Scrape off soot buildup with a simple wire brush. Vacuum up debris with a shop vac. Check the chamber for corrosion or holes, and then replace the cover. It’s that easy!

2. Replace the Oil Filter

Obviously, this fix is only for oil-powered systems.

To replace the filter in a system of this type, close the oil valve before removing and replacing the old filter. And don’t forget to dispose of that old filter according to your local regulations for hazardous waste.

3. Replace the Air Filter

Air filters are some of the easiest replacements of all. There’s no such thing as changing your furnace’s air filter too many times, and you should never go longer than a year with a single filter.

4. Replace the Blower Pulley

This fix is for when your furnace’s motor runs without blowing air. It’s usually a result of a broken belt between the motor and the blower.

Usually, you can perform this replacement by removing the furnace’s front cabinet door, taking off the old belt, and adjusting the new belt by hand-rotating it.

Just don’t forget to turn off your unit and disconnect the gas valve first.

5. Adjust the Burner

There are a few steps involved in this adjustment.

You can set up a combustion analyzer to measure gasses in your exhaust flue. You can ensure your burner’s air gates create the proper fuel-to-air ratio. And you can replace the oil nozzle to burn fuel just before it ignites.

One way to check your oil nozzle is to monitor the color and shape of the flame at the igniter.

Complete Plumbing Services gives tips on how to make similar adjustments for water heaters.

The Heat Is On

We hope these furnace fixes get you started on your journey to heating self-sufficiency this winter. If you can perform your own furnace maintenance, you’ll become a hero to your family. Now get your tools, and start tinkering.

And if there are jobs you must outsource, we can help you find the experts you need.