Maintaining Your Furnace for Lasting Use
For a home, routine residential furnace maintenance is essential for two reasons: Keeping your family warm and safe. When a furnace maintenance is overlooked, the dirt and dust that furnaces attract get thicker, each time the furnace turns on, it heats that dirt and dust. While most it will burn off, what is left can easily catch on fire. Or it can clog up the furnace and not keep your home warm and comfortable.
What is furnace maintenance?
Furnace maintenance is a preventive step in keeping your home’s heating service in good working condition. It includes a thorough cleaning, inspection, and tune-up of the system. A routine of furnace maintenance will keep your home comfortable while saving money on your energy bills too.
Do I need annual furnace maintenance?
Yes. Professional furnace contractors and manufacturers recommend annual inspections and maintenance by a trained professional. What are the benefits of having this done?
- Safety: A gas furnace is using a combustion process that must be in precise working order for efficiency and maximum safety. A minor glitch can result in gas leaks or dangerous exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide that can cause serious health issues or death.
- Repairs: With routine check-up, cleaning, inspection, and tune-up, you’ll minimize the need for furnace repairs. This annual schedule will catch small issues that can be handled before they become expensive repairs or replacement. It also will assure you that your furnace will be working when you need it.
- Energy Efficiency: A furnace in good working order will go a long way in energy saving, aka money-saving, including cleaning or replacing the filter each month.
- Warranty: When you spend the money on a new furnace, you want to make sure the warranty is honored when needed. Annual professional check-up, tune-up, and maintenance will keep your furnace in warranty condition.
- Wire Checks: A professional furnace check-up includes wire checks where broken, corroded, or loose wires are repaired or replaced.
How do you maintain a furnace?
The best furnace maintenance is to have your routine each month, like changing or cleaning the filter. You realize how important changing the HVAC filter is during the summer, you should realize that the dirt and dust still exist during the winter too. So, the following furnace maintenance checklist will tell you step-by-step how to furnace maintenance.
Make sure that everything is safe while performing furnace maintenance on a gas-powered appliance. Before you start your furnace maintenance on a gas furnace, turn the HVAC system off. If you smell any gas, stop, and call a professional HVAC furnace technician. IF there is no gas smell proceed with the following steps:
- Check the thermostat to ensure it is in proper condition and operating. If your home hasn’t felt toasty warm when the heat is on, even with routine furnace maintenance, you may need to replace the thermostat. If it is five years old or older, it is time to replace the thermostat.
- Clean the blower. The blower is located behind the air filter, and the dirt, debris, and dust the filter misses is attracted to the blower. Remove the filter and panels so that you can reach the blower and with a damp cloth, clean off the belt, pulleys, and the blower to remove any accumulated debris, dirt, and dust. These are essential steps in furnace maintenance.
- Clean or repair the furnace ducts. A forced-air furnace can damage the furnace ducts, so keeping them clean is an important part of furnace maintenance. You can do this by using a shop vac once a month to clean the ducts, making sure you return the duct covers securely when done. Once a year, calling a professional air duct cleaning service is recommended
- Clean the vents. Your Gas furnace has a venting system that can become blocked by t debris, dirt, and dust. Not only is it blowing that debris, dirt, and dust through the ducts and your home, blocked vents are dangerous. Clean the vents with a large brush and vacuum the inside of the vents as far back as you can reach.
- Fan inspection. Part of your furnace maintenance should be inspecting the fan, which will help you avoid experiencing problems with the furnace when you perform a thorough inspection each month. Once a year, have professional furnace maintenance that includes check-up, cleaning, inspection, and tune-up.
How often should you have your furnace serviced?
In addition to your monthly homeowner service of filter changing, a professional gas furnace should be scheduled no less than once a year. Recommended is twice a year, end of spring and the start of fall, especially as your furnace ages, the more frequent you have it professional inspected and service, the more you can be sure it is in proper and safe working condition.
When should you clean your furnace?
A monthly routine of filter cleaning or changing is a must to keep your furnace working at the best level possible. For furnace maintenance, an annual or bi-annual professional cleaning, inspection, and tune-up are recommended steps. A professional furnace technician will clean areas of the furnace that you can’t reach yourself. They know what parts can be bumped without causing problems.
Last Few Words
Your furnace is an essential component of your home. Making sure it is proper working order, cleaned and inspected, will keep your home warm in the winter using the least amount of energy, and safely.