Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

Fix-It-Yourself Furnace Problems? Nope! You Need Pros


Is there such a thing as a furnace problem that you can solve with some basic DIY methods? Eh … sort of. We put nope in the title because it is better to be safe when it comes to furnace repairs. We’ll look at some of the basic solutions to simple furnace problems you can do yourself without safety hazards. For everything else, the service must be left to professionals who have the tools, knowledge, training, and certification to do the job safely and correctly.

Simple Furnace Resolutions You Can Do on Your Own

  • Changing a clogged air filter: This isn’t even a fix as much as it is a standard maintenance step. The furnace filter needs to be changed for a clean one every one to three months. (The less expensive the filter, the more often the change.) If your furnace isn’t doing its job well or costing too much to run, check the filter first to see if it’s clogged and change it if it is.
  • Thermostat adjustments: Yes, a basic misunderstanding with thermostat settings may be the reason your furnace isn’t working right. Make sure you don’t have two separate programs that are overriding each other so the furnace is shutting off too early—or running for too long.
  • Resetting a tripped breaker: The furnace blower fan shuts off and the system isn’t responsive at all. Check on the electrical panel for the house to see if a breaker has been tripped. Sometimes the motor of the blower fan can overload the circuit. If you reset the breaker, but it trips again, then you have a more serious problem that needs professional attention.

For Everything Else … Call a Certified Technician

We’ll list some of the more common troubles that call for a professional. But consider pretty much anything other than the remedies above as a job for the professionals.

  • Burners won’t ignite: Whether you have an old furnace with a standing pilot light or a new one with an electronic ignition system, when the furnace burners won’t ignite, you’ll want a pro to examine it. Working with natural gas systems is something you never want to do unless you have special certification for the job. Technicians can find out if the ignition system isn’t working, the burners are dirty, or there’s a gas flow problem.
  • Broken blower: When the blower fan stops working, no air will move through the furnace to be heated and then passed into the ventilation system. A technician may be able to fix the problem with some motor lubricant, or they may need to replace the motor. Only a professional can make a correct diagnosis.
  • Short-cycling: When your furnace shuts down early and then turns back on, only to shut down early again, it’s short-cycling. Many different malfunctions can cause this, including a clogged filter. If changing the filter doesn’t fix it, let an expert make a diagnosis so it can be correctly fixed.
  • Installing a new furnace: If a furnace is so far gone that you need a new heating system installation in Frederick, MD, you absolutely need to call an HVAC technician. You’ll not only need pros to put in a new furnace, you’ll need them to accurately size the furnace so you’ll have the amount of heat your house needs.

Call on the pros! Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing serves Washington D.C., Montgomery & Frederick Counties.