There's plenty of work that you can do around your home to save some money and feel the satisfaction of a job well done. Unfortunately, furnace repair isn't a task that you should take on yourself. While essential furnace maintenance is easy enough for the do-it-yourselfer, you should leave most repair tasks to trained professionals.
If your furnace is acting up, then take a step back and put your toolbox back into the closet. These three reasons will convince you that the cost-savings don't justify the trouble and risk of taking on furnace work yourself.
1. Gas Lines Are Dangerous
If you have a natural gas furnace, then it goes without saying that you shouldn't be tinkering with the gas lines. While the plumbing may seem straightforward enough, small mistakes may be difficult to detect. A minor leak that goes undetected can easily lead to home damage, severe injuries, or worse. For this reason, most states require plumbers and HVAC contractors to obtain special licenses.
If you suspect a problem with a gas line, contact your gas company immediately and shut it off if possible. Never remain in a home with an active gas leak.
2. Exhaust Gas Routing Can Be Complicated
Your furnace uses a heat exchanger to safely contain toxic combustion byproducts while still extracting heat for use in your home. Once the gases pass through the exchanger, your exhaust flue delivers them to the outside environment. Poorly routed exhaust gases or problems with the exhaust venting can allow combustion gases to enter your home, posing a severe safety hazard.
In some cases, a backup of exhaust gases can cause issues with the operation of your furnace. A furnace repair professional will spot these issues quickly, and help you to resolve them before they pose an additional hazard.
3. Mistakes Aren't Cheap
If you aren't confident in your abilities, then a mistake while trying to repair your furnace can lead to costly damage. Repairs to gas lines or improperly routed exhaust vents aren't cheap, but causing internal damage to your furnace can be catastrophically expensive. Failing to repair a problem correctly may cause your furnace to overheat or stop working altogether.
In a worst-case scenario, you may damage your furnace's heat exchanger or create a situation where the exchanger overheats and cracks. A damaged heat exchanger can leak harmful combustion gases into your home and will ultimately require replacement. Since heat exchanger repairs can cost several thousand dollars, this is not a risk to take lightly.
You may consider yourself to be handy around the home, and you may even be confident enough to tackle many HVAC projects yourself. When dealing with your furnace, however, the potential risks and costs mean that you should leave most jobs to someone with the proper training and experience.