Every home requires some type of heating system for comfort in the cold winter months. From a fireplace to a furnace and boiler system, there are many ways in which to stay warm when the temperatures become cooler. Just like there are different types of heating systems, there are also different tools needed to repair your system. Tough repairs should be left to the experts, but you can take measures into your own hands to determine what might be wrong with your system and fix the issue. Learning the HVAC basics will have you on the right track to home heating without having to contact professionals.
The HVAC meaning is Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning and refers to the system used to heat and cool your home. You can have a combination system such as a heat pump or central unit, or an individual system such as a furnace. Each unit type is made up of different components which work together to create heat in the home. There are many common reasons your heating system may decide to stop working that you can handle yourself. Below are a few examples of such issues and what tools are needed for repairs.
When your heating unit will not turn on at all, you may have a power issue. You can check the power of your system by opening up the fuse or breaker box. Check to see if a breaker has been tripped or if a fuse was blown. If so, you simply flip the switch or put a new fuse in place to provide power to your system. In this instance, your hands are your tools!
A second reason your system may not be operational is with the thermostat. When you have a thermostat that operates on battery power, you may need to refresh your batteries. Open the thermostat and check the battery power to see if new batteries will get your unit back on track.
Many times, a heating system will become overworked due to a full air filter. When the air filter of your heating unit becomes clogged, the system can have a hard time clearing the air which can cause the unit to shut down. To change the air filter, you will need to remove the cover to your return. This is usually a large grate when you are dealing with units that include duct work. In a furnace, the filter is often times inside the system. To remove a grate, you can flip the tabs open with your fingers or use a small flathead screwdriver to remove the grate and begin changing out the filter. For your furnace, you will need to remove the door to open the system which may require a flat or Phillip’s head screwdriver, depending on your unit type. Once removed, you will be able to replace the air filter.
Cleaning the System
Sometimes just cleaning out your unit is the best way to restore life to your heating unit. With a furnace, you can clean out the inside when you have removed the casing, when you are changing out the filter. Use a small brush or a vacuum to remove any dust and debris that may have fallen into your system. You can clean a central unit or heat pump by removing any dirt, leaves or sticks that may have fallen into the outdoor portion of this type unit. This can be done by using a screwdriver to remove the grate and begin to clean with a vacuum or light spraying with water hose. You must be careful to avoid the fins of the system as this portion of the unit can be damaged easily.
Rely on Professionals
As always, if you are unsure as to what to do with your heating system, leave the repair work to the experts. A qualified technician will be able to assist you with any repair need, quickly and efficiently.