The 5 Key Risks of DIY Heater Repair

Aug 27 2021
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I hate furnaces – you certainly will not find me suggesting that I could repair one! I know that sounds SO bizarre. Just about everyone I know has either an electric or gas furnace. And just about everyone I know has had that furnace “go out” and have to be relit on more than one occasion. And I’ve heard WAY too many horror stories of this happening in the dead of winter… when they were gone on vacation to return to a frozen home with busted pipes. With all that being said we don’t have a furnace lol we have a pellet stove and electric heaters. If the electricity goes out we don’t have heat but that would also be true of most furnaces as well. Even re lighting furnaces makes me nervous so I totally agree with the following article!

Happy Bird Day, Xmas and New Years from my little spot here in Grandma's House! Weather report is short and brutal. Winter started and no one is happy about
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

Since this is a DIY website, we are keen on encouraging DIY solutions to home repair and maintenance. That means if you run into problems with your furnace, this would naturally be the place to look for repair and maintenance solutions. 

As a DIY enthusiast, we know you always relish the challenge of fixing something yourself, and fixing your own furnace would seem to satisfy that inner handyman while cutting down on your repair costs. However, many furnace repairs are best left to qualified heater repair technicians.

Here are some of the things that could go wrong with DIY furnace repair.

1. Fix a Wrong Component

Before you repair a heating system, you first need to establish what heater component is at the heart of the problem. This is however not a straightforward process, especially if you are not well-versed in the workings of your furnace. There will be numerous distinct components you need to examine.

The average DIYer is unlikely to have the technical knowledge, skills and tools required to identify the furnace problem. If you do not get the identity of the faulty component right, you not only risk wasting time and effort, but could also create a new problem.

2. High-Voltage Electricity

A heater may depend on high-voltage electricity. As with any piece of equipment that is powered by electricity, safety is paramount. Incorrect repair and handling could lead to electrocution and/or cause additional heater damage.

Heater components are interconnected. Damage to one could lead to the failure of other parts. This alone will compound the original problem and increase the overall costs of repair.

3. Harmful Chemicals

When fixing a heating system, bear in mind that you may have to handle toxic chemicals. For example, a HVAC system relies on a hazardous refrigerant to facilitate cooling. You must be knowledgeable in handling the chemicals, including proper disposal.

If not handled correctly, these poisonous chemicals could cause serious health problems when inhaled. Incorrect disposal can also contribute to environmental pollution. In fact, professional heater repair technicians are expected to have an EPA certification before they are qualified to handle HVAC chemicals.

4. Loss of Warranties

Heating systems typically come with component and labor warranties. These warranties are often voided if you opt to carry out heater repairs yourself. This may be the case whether your actions cause damage to the system or not.

For the heater or furnace manufacturer, the rationale is that your action of tampering with the system makes it difficult for them to know if indeed a particular fault should be covered by the warranty or not. With loss of warranties, you can expect to pay the full price of repair when you contract a professional to fix things.

5. Damage Gas Supply

About half of American homes use natural gas for heating. While there are plenty of advantages in using gas for heating, it is highly flammable and very dangerous if not handled correctly.

Repairing a gas-powered heater or furnace is not a good idea for DIYers. Damage to gas lines could have disastrous consequences. A trained and licensed HVAC technician understands the precautions required to avoid fire and explosion.

Err On the Side of Caution

Not all heater repairs are completely out of bounds for DIY. Nevertheless, there are many instances where leaving the work to the professionals is the prudent thing to do. In such cases, the risks of doing the repairs on your own far outweigh any benefits.

Even simple, routine heater repairs should be carried out with a high degree of caution. If you have any doubts about whether the knowledge, skills and tools you possess are adequate for the task at hand, let the experts handle it. Hiring a qualified heater technician will cost you money, but the peace of mind makes it more than worth it.

I hate furnaces - you certainly will not find me suggesting that I could repair one! I know that sounds SO bizarre. Just about ev
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

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