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Heating & Cooling Repair: DIY Tips and Step-By-Step Guides

This Section covers important information and DIY how-to guidance on furnace troubleshooting and repair, maintenance, filter replacement, water heater repair and more.

HVAC Duct Cleaning

Inside HVAC Ductwork from 1937
Tutorial showing the interior of HVAC duct that is over 75 years old and has never been cleaned.

Replacing a Humidifier Solenoid

Top High Efficiency Furnace Troubleshooting & Repair Tips
This tutorial highlights the most common and weekend warrior friendly repairs you can make on your high efficiency condensing furnace (Efficiency of +92%).

Humidifier Maintenance
Tutorial describing maintenance tips for drum style and flow-through drip style humidifiers.

Top Furnace Troubleshooting and Repair Tutorials
Furnace repair tips covering standard and high efficiency furnaces and ignition systems such as standing pilot light and electronic ignition.

Vent Pipe for High Efficiency Furnaces - PVC – ABS - CPVC
Tutorial describes types of plastic high efficiency furnace vent piping (ABS, PVC, CPVC) and types of furnace vent systems such as direct vent (two-pipe) and non-direct vent (one-pipe).

Troubleshooting a High Efficiency Condensing Furnace
Tutorial describes how to troubleshoot a high efficiency direct-vent condensing furnace.

Furnace Pressure Switch
Tutorial describing the function and operation of a furnace pressure switch used on conventional and condensing furnaces.

Anatomy of a High Efficiency Condensing Furnace
Describes the construction and components of the high efficiency condensing furnace and how it compares to a conventional furnace.

Gas Furnace Types and Efficiencies
This tutorial describes the various types and efficiencies of gas furnaces found in the home including high efficiency, standard or mid efficiency, low efficiency, single stage, two stage and modulating furnaces.

Types of Home Air Conditioning Systems
Tutorial review the most commonly used air conditioning and cooling systems in the home including window air conditioner, portable air conditioner, ductless or split system air conditioners and central air conditioning.

Repairing a Central Air Conditioning System
Tutorial describes how to troubleshoot and repair common central air conditioning system problems.

How Your Home Air Conditioning System Works
Overview of the home air conditioning system and how it works.

Steam Radiator and Air Valve Repair
Tutorial describes how to troubleshoot and repair a steam radiator including air valve or air vent.

How to Clean a Steam Radiator Air Valve
Tutorial describes how to easily clean a clogged radiator air valve that is stuck open.

Residential Steam Boilers
Describes the residential home boiler, piping systems and boiler controls.

Steam Radiator Air Vents - Air Valves
Describes how venting air valves work on a steam radiator, the sizes of the valves and where they are used in a residential steam boiler heating system.

Pilot Light Flame Inspection and Repair
Tutorial describes how to inspect and repair a standing pilot light flame in a gas furnace.

IP Thermostat - Remote Control for Your Home Furnace Thermostat
This tutorial will describe the next generation home furnace thermostat, the IP thermostat that allows control from the unit or remotely over the internet.

Cold Rooms and How to Warm Them
Tutorial describes why rooms may be cold in your home and what you can do to warm them up.

How to Re-charge a Hot Water Boiler Expansion Tank
This tutorial describes the differences between the two types of hot water boiler expansion tanks (diaphragm and horizontal steel tank) and how to re-charge them with air for proper functioning of the hot water boiler system.

Boiler Repair - Oil Fired Burner
This article describes tips to try when the burner on your oil fired boiler will not start. You can often get the burner firing before the need to call a service technician.

Replacing a Furnace Thermocouple or Electronic Flame Sensor
This tutorial describes how to easily replace a furnace thermocouple in an older style standing pilot furnace or an electronic flame sensor in a newer style electronic ignition furnace.

Dryer Vent Safety - What You Need to Know
Tutorial describing safety issues surrounding gas and electric dryers including venting.

Dryer Vent Cleaning - Dryer Repair
This tutorial explains a very important dryer repair involving cleaning your dryer ducts of dangerous lint build up, a major source of dryer fires. It photo documents the steps involved in cleaning your dryer of lint in the lint trap and in dryer ducts.

Safely Turning a Gas Valve On and Off - Shutoff
Describes how to turn a gas valve on and off such as when disconnecting or installing a gas dryer or gas stove.

Types of Electronic Furnace Ignition
Describes the two main types of electronic furnace ignition, Furnace Intermittent Pilot and Furnace Hot Surface Ignition.

Measuring Furnace Air Filter Efficiency
Describes how the effectiveness of furnace filters are measured using Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value or MERV.

Furnace Standing Pilot Versus Electronic Ignition
Overview of the furnace standing pilot versus electronic ignition.

How to Troubleshoot and Repair Your Wall Mounted Electric Heater
Tips on how to diagnose problems and fix your electric wall heater.

The Conventional Gas Furnace
Identifies common problems, causes and fixes for various gas furnace problems

Types of Home Electric Heaters
Tutorial describing the types of electric heaters typically found in a home including cove, wall, toe kick and baseboard.

How to Size an Electric Room Heater - Baseboard or Wall or Cove Heater
Tip on how to determine the right size electric room heater for your needs.

Where to Improve Your Home's Energy Efficiency
Describes how the home loses heat and what repairs bring the highest benefit.

Window Air Conditioner Maintenance
This tutorial describes how to maintain a window mounted room air conditioner.

Window Mounted Room Air Conditioner Troubleshooting
This tutorial describes how to troubleshoot a window mounted room air conditioner.

Central Air Conditioning Unit and Heat Pump Maintenance
Tutorial on maintaining the outside condensing unit of a central air conditioning or heat pump system.

How to Install a Home Furnace Thermostat
Tutorial on how to install a home thermostat for heating or cooling for gas forced air or hot water heating systems.

Troubleshooting a Hot Water Boiler - Gas Fired Boiler Repair
This tutorial describes and covers the troubleshooting and repair of gas fired boilers that heat water for hot water or hydronic home heating systems. These boilers can be fired with gas or oil, but the components are similar.

Thermostat and Furnace-Boiler Compatibility
You must make sure to use the proper type of thermostat for your furnace. Mismatching equipment is dangerous. Learn the differences between millivoltage, low and high or line voltage systems and how to identify what type of system you have.

Types of Home Heating Systems
Describes the most common types of home heating systems including forced air, hydronic hot water baseboard, radiant in floor heat, steam heat radiation and Geothermal Heat Pump (GHP).

Electronic Ignition Furnace - Overview and Repair
The gas electronic ignition furnace is the most common type of new furnace but requires a special understanding of its components for repair of hot surface ignition and intermittent pilot systems.

Furnace Filter Replacement - AprilAire Space-Gard 2200
Detailed photo tutorial for installing the AprilAire Space-Gard 2200 whole house high efficiency air filter

Troubleshooting a Home Furnace and Air Conditioning Thermostat
Tutorial on thermostat troubleshooting for mechanical thermostats such as Honeywell, White Rodgers, Lux

Heat Anticipator Adjustment
Describes the thermostat heat anticipator and how to adjust it

Anatomy of the Furnace Thermostat
Overview of home furnace thermostat types including digital programmable, mercury and mechanical contact thermostats as manufactured by Honeywell, White Rodgers and others.

How to Light a Gas Furnace Standing Pilot
This tutorial describes how a furnace pilot and thermocouple work and how to light a standing pilot on a gas furnace.

Heating and Cooling Terms You Need to Know
Assembly of often used terms in heating and cooling systems for the home

Anatomy of the Humidifier - How a Humidifier Works
Tutorial explaining and graphically depicting the various components of the home furnace mounted humidifier.

Seasonal Furnace Maintenance
Follow these simple tips for seasonal maintenance on your furnace to help keep it running efficiently and safely.

Home Winterization
Fall checklist for getting your home ready for winter.

Furnace Filter Replacement - Standard 1" Type
Description of how to perform a monthly filter inspection and replace a paper or fiberglass media furnace filter for improved indoor air quality and energy conservation.

Heating and Cooling Systems Descriptions
This U.S. Department of Energy overview of all types of heating and cooling systems provides an excellent reference of energy conserving and performance issues to consider if you have to replace or upgrade.

Do It Yourself Home Energy Audit
This comprehensive checklist provides you a way to evaluate your home and identify and prioritize potential energy efficiency upgrades.

Home Heating Safety Tips
Review this helpful guide to home heating safety tips.

Selecting a New Water Heater
This helpful reference provides an overview of the various options you have when replacing your water heater including conventional, on demand (tankless), indirect, even solar.

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