To ensure quality functioning and long life, it is critical that you properly maintain and repair your furnace. It is ideal to perform routine tasks yearly to keep your unit in top shape. Keeping your furnace in good condition will save money on the repairs of wear and tear, and also cut energy bills. With just a few simple home furnace maintenance tips, you can keep both your heating unit AND wallet in outstanding condition.
Ensure that all the conditions are safe before you begin any maintenance or repair work. Ascertain where the electrical switch that controls the power supply to the furnace is located and shut it off. If you have a gas furnace, determine where the fuel supply is, and turn that off as well.
CAUTION: If you smell gas, do not attempt to fix the furnace yourself. This smell can indicate a gas leak. Immediately leave your home and call the gas company or fire department.
Check and Replace the Air Filter
The first thing you should do is check your furnace’s air filter. It is recommended to replace your furnace filter at the beginning of the heating season. This will prevent debris from entering the furnace blower and destroying it, and it will also keep your home cleaner. A filthy filter will cause extraordinary strain on your furnace, reducing its life span, and increased heating costs.
The job of the air filter is to trap lint, dust, and other debris and stop them from invading the furnace, which can cause malfunction. Located between the air duct and the blower door, or in the blower door, the furnace air filter should be simple to remove. You may, however, need to pry the door of the furnace open with a screwdriver to gain admittance to it. The filter may have to be held up to a light to see if it is dirty. If you verify that it is clogged and soiled, replace it with a new one.
Clean the Blower
While the furnace filter traps most of the debris, some of it still manages to get through. That is why it is important to also clean your furnace’s blower. To access the blower, remove the panel that covers the filter. You may need to slip out the fan unit to reach the blower. This may be held in place by screws; do not use excessive force to remove it. The blower assembly, belts, and pulleys can be cleaned with a damp cloth.
Check the Furnace Duct System
You should also check and clean the duct system of your furnace to improve the air quality and efficiency of the unit. Assure that all of the ducts are cleaned properly and unobstructed so that your furnace will not have to overwork. Duct cleaning can provide multiple benefits including:
- Improve airflow in your home
- Reduce household allergens and mold
- Eliminate extra dust
- Decrease energy costs
Inspect the Fan Belt
The furnace’s fan belt should be examined to make sure that there are no signs of cracking, fraying, or glazing. If there is a problem with the fan belt, it should be replaced. The tension of the belt should also be checked. When the center of the belt is pushed down, it should feel firm and deflect only ½ to 3/4 of an inch. If necessary, tighten the belt.
Protect Your Home Against Carbon Monoxide Leaks
Gas furnaces create carbon monoxide. A leak of this colorless, odorless gas from your furnace could present a fatal hazard to those in the home. You should purchase a Low-Level CO Monitor if you do not already own one. If you do have one, check the batteries to make sure that it is operating properly.
Gas leaks are typically easy to detect, as you can tell from the accumulation of gas of the floor and the smell of gas around the area of the furnace. To assure the safety of the unit, gas leaks require the assistance of a professional to fix the problem.
HeatSource Mechanical believes in regular furnace maintenance and wants you to prolong the life of your system by routinely inspecting and cleaning your furnace. If you feel you need the help of a professional, the certified technicians here at HeatSource are always here to help! Contact us today to set up an appointment.