It's not usually a good idea to deal with gas fixtures on your own, as you don't want to have your house fill up with gas or cause any risk of explosion from a leak. However, there are a few things you might consider when it comes to fixing a gas furnace yourself, before you decide if you need to call a contractor. Note a few simple troubleshooting tips for dealing with your gas furnace at home.
1. When the furnace cycles off too quickly
If it seems that your home hasn't gotten warm enough before the furnace cycles off, one thing you might check is the furnace filter. If the filter gets too clogged, the furnace may switch itself off because the unit itself gets too warm. Depending on your furnace and regular usage, you may need to change the filter as often as every month and not just every year at the beginning of the winter season. Check your furnace's owner's manual for recommendations on when to change the filter and be sure you follow this schedule.
2. Pilot is out
If your furnace never comes on because the pilot light is out, you might use a pipe cleaner and clean the orifice that holds the flame. If this becomes clogged, the flame cannot get enough gas and it goes out regularly. It's also good to see if the furnace is exposed to strong drafts that can blow out the pilot light; your basement or furnace room may need some insulation, an actual door that closes off the entryway, or plastic sheeting in a spot that will protect the furnace from drafts.
3. Rattling or squeals
If you hear rattling, squeals, howling, or other such types of noises from your furnace, one good thing to do is stand near it and note if the sounds seem to originate from inside the unit or from the body of the furnace. Many furnaces are made with thin sheets of metal as the housing, and these are attached to each other with bolts or rivets. Over time, these connectors can come loose so that the metal rattles when the furnace blower kicks on. The sound can echo through the home's ductwork. Squealing or howling can also be caused by air coming through those gaps or openings. In these cases, a contractor can note if those connectors need replacing or just tightening so that the metal stays connected and in place.
For more information, contact companies like A and C Plumbing.