If you’re wondering whether or not you should bleed a furnace yourself or hire a professional for the task, your decision should be based on your level of knowledge of working with gas or oil. Both fuels can be potentially dangerous, if you don’t know what you’re doing. For the most part, the procedure is simple and doesn’t take a lot of time. Many homeowners bleed their furnaces on their own. If you’re in doubt about your skills to do this, then it’s best to call in a pro.
When to Bleed a Furnace
Oil furnaces need a continual flow of oil in the supply line. If the flow is interrupted, the furnace may need to be bled to operate. This most common cause of having to bleed an oil furnace is running out of oil. Air enters into the supply line when an oil tank runs dry. When the tank is then filled up, the supply line forms an air lock that blocks the oil from flowing. Since oil is flammable, it’s best to keep a fire extinguisher close by. Should you bleed a furnace yourself, carefully follow these steps:
- Turn off the furnace safety switch.
- Cut a piece of thin plastic tubing about 18 inches long and fill a can or jar with a small amount of sand for weight.
- Attach one end of the plastic tubing on the bleed screw and the other on the can or jar. The bleeder screw is located where the fuel line connects to the furnace.
- Loosen the bleed screw with a pair of pliers
- Turn the safety switch on and press the red reset button. Hold the plastic tubing when bleeding, as air bubbles and oil will sputter out.
- Keep an eye on the oil flowing from the bleed screw into the can to check for when no more air bubbles are present. When the air bubbles aren’t present, the oil should steadily flow from the bleed screw.
- Re-tighten the bleed screw, remove the plastic tubing and wipe any oil drips with a rag.
Sometimes when the outside main gas valve is turned off accidently, air can accumulate and block the flow of gas. In this case, the gas line at the furnace will need to be bled. First, shut the furnace down. Then, just shut the valve at the furnace, and then crack it halfway open until you smell gas. Again, shut the valve. Hook the pipe back and turn the valve back, and it’s done. Be sure to let the room ventilate for a while before you restart the furnace.
HVAC Services with Gartner HVAC in Niles, IL
At Gartner HVAC, we offer a wide array of HVAC products and services, such as duct cleaning, radiant heating systems, furnace maintenance and energy efficient HVAC equipment. If you think you might need to have your furnace bled or need another heating repair, call us today. For savings, we also offer Internet coupons and no-hassle financing plans with low interest. Be sure to call us for any of your HVAC needs.