Why can't I fix my furnace myself?

Why can't I fix my furnace myself?

Updated: 2/13/2018

The first point to make if you’re asking yourself this question is that a home furnace is a major appliance. It’s ultimately a large machine that your whole home relies upon. It’s up there with stove and washing machine, and is a permanent feature of your home, that you’ve probably spent more than $10,000 on. It’s certainly no toaster, kettle, or laptop that you may be able to fix with the quick restart trick. Therefore it is definitely something you should think twice about before trying a ‘DIY’ fix or ‘having a go’ at repairing.

So what is the big problem here? Even if you have a go, and your furnace seems fixed, it may not be. A leak or repair that is not fixed correctly could result in more carbon monoxide leaking into your home. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector installed (which you should!), this could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Also remember that even though you may seem to have temporarily fixed your furnace, a botched job could lead to more future problems and the need for an even more expensive professional repair bill or replacement furnace - remember that $10,000 bill you’ll get for a new one!

But the main issue with ‘having a go’ and fixing your own furnace, is that there is a real risk of harm to yourself and your family. Furnaces are generally powered by gas, and gas can very easily explode and result in a fire. Numerous home explosions have been recorded, leaving people with severe burns, and sometimes fatalities, all suspected to be a result of DIY furnace fix attempts. Even if you avoid a major explosion, all DIY projects always come with risks. When an untrained person starts attempting to fix a large mechanical system, such as a furnace, the risks become greater. Before getting your tool bag out, think about the problems you could face if you do hurt yourself - time off work, needing help from your family. These are all issues you don’t want to have.

There is a reason we have professionals and trained experts for these jobs. It may be hard to admit, but they know more than you do, and they have the right tools and training to do the job safely. Most of the time they know what’s wrong and can do the job right the first time. If not, they’ll know another professional to call on for support. We are fast becoming a world of people who like to be creative and a bit thrifty. You only need to look at Pinterest or Instagram and you’ll find DIY wedding decorations or people fixing up old camper vans, but with some things this approach isn’t clever or resourceful and furnaces are 100% one of them. Way before you feel uncomfortable tinkering around with your furnace and your twenty year old bag of tools, you should have called a professional - you should never get to the stage of feeling uneasy and putting your home in danger. A furnace fix gone wrong can be extremely dangerous, and for the sake of the safety of yourself and your home, the cost of calling in an expert is a small price to pay.

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