Furnace Maintenance Tips

Furnace Image

A properly maintained furnace will deliver maximum heat output without wasted energy. If you do not perform furnace maintenance now, before the colder weather sets in, it could become costly to repair later. And if a HVAC contractor determines that your system failed due to a lack of maintenance, then you could be stuck with the full repair bill.

Here are 5 furnace maintenance tips that will save you money and keep your home properly heated for the cold weather ahead.

1) Get a professional inspection. The best thing you can do to make sure your furnace performs to the best of its ability is to have a professional inspect and optimize the furnace. The technician will inspect your furnace for any operational problems and perform a number of maintenance tasks that will help avoid future furnace breakdowns, improve efficiency and make your system safe to operate.

2) Clean your furnace air filter. Most furnace breakdowns can be prevented if more homeowners clean their air filter more often! Having a dirty filter will cause furnace performance and efficiency problem. You can avoid these costly issues by simply checking your furnace air filter once per month.

3) Test your CO detectors. CO detectors will warn you if your furnace develops a carbon monoxide leak, which could potentially be life-threatening to the people in your home. Make sure that your CO detectors are working and that they have a fresh set of batteries during the heating season.

4) Clean your vents. Vents should be checked monthly for blockages. Blocked vents could cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

5) Check the tension belt. A misaligned tension belt can cause you furnace to run loudly and/or make strange sounds. If the belt is frayed or worn, replace it with a new one.

6) Check the pilot light in older furnaces. If you have an older furnace with a pilot light, check to make sure the flame is burning a bright blue color. If it’s a different color, it is likely burning inefficiently and you should a HVAC professional.

7) Make sure not to block outdoor exhaust pipes. High efficiency gas furnaces have exhaust pipes that lead outside of your home and near the ground. It’s very important to make sure nothing is blocking these pipes so that your furnace can operate safely and efficiently.

8) Make sure your thermostat is functioning properly. Does your thermostat match the temperature of the house? If your thermostat is not functioning properly, your furnace will not be able to work as it should and could possible cost more to operate.  Dirt and bad calibration can affect the performance of your thermostat. Contact a professional and have a technician analyze your HVAC system.

9) Adjust the control valve. Most furnaces will feature a control valve. If you find that your furnace is not producing heat, check this valve. Check that this valve is in the “on” position and that gas is free to enter your furnace.

10) Oil the motor. A couple of drops of oil should be added to the furnace every season.

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