Heater Troubleshooting And Repair

by | Apr 26, 2013 | Heating and Air Conditioning

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Forced-air furnaces; whether using oil or natural gas as fuel, are usually quite reliable. However, like every other mechanical device, they can fail and when they do, heater repair in Chicago becomes critical. Although major problems must be attended to by professional furnace technicians, there are a number of things that someone with a few tools and a bit of DIY experience can handle.


Although repair may eventually become inevitable, the day can be postponed by subjecting your heater to a bit of annual maintenance. Once a year, slide the blower out from the furnace housing and subject it to a good cleaning. Clean the fan blades with a small brush and then vacuum the entire unit. While you have the blower out, look at the blower motor, if it has any points for lubrication, then give the motor a few drops of oil or grease. Most modern blower motors have sealed bearings that do not require lubrication.

The only other maintenance issue that needs attention is the filter. There are two types of filters commonly used on forced-air furnaces; permanent and disposable. Obviously, the disposable filter can simply be replaced, if the filter is permanent, take it outside, give it a good vacuuming and then wash the filter with soapy water and then rinse. Do not use a high pressure hose to clean the filter as it may be damaged beyond use.

There is some heater repair in Chicago that you can do:

If you suspect a gas leak:

This is one thing where you do not want to attempt a repair; you want to get everyone out of the home without delay. Keep the door open as you leave and call the fire department or the utility company. If the gas supply meter is outside the house and is conveniently located, turn it off. In the meantime, do not smoke or have any open flame near the house, the emergency services will tell you when it’s safe to return to the home.

Pilot light has gone out:

Many new gas furnaces have electronic ignition, but older furnaces have pilot lights. When the pilot light goes out, and it will not stay lit, this is usually the fault of a loose thermocouple, the pilot orifice may be clogged or the flame may be set too low. This heater repair Chicago area is straight forward.

The orifice of the pilot light can be cleaned by running a length of small-diameter wire through it. Once you have cut power to the furnace and shut off the fuel supply, simply shove the wire into the orifice, this action usually cleans it of any debris or ash.

If the flame of the pilot burns below one inch, adjust it so it is about one half inch higher.

The thermocouple will need replacing; this is best done by a company that does professional heater repair in Chicago.

ELM Heating & Cooling provide expert heater repair in Chicago and vicinity. The experienced technicians have the tools and skills to get the repair done quickly and get heat back in your home.


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