Furnace Maintenance 101: How To Make Sure You’re In Good Shape For The Winter
Furnace maintenance is an important part of home ownership. With winter approaching, you need to check your furnace and make sure that no problem areas have developed. Maintaining your furnace is just as important to preserving the value of your home as changing your oil is to preserve the value of your vehicle. There is no worse feeling than having your furnace fail right in the middle of an extended stretch of subzero weather. By practicing basic furnace maintenance procedures, you can be sure your furnace will serve you reliably for years to come.
Always have a certified HVAC technician install and periodically test your furnace. Improper installation can be very dangerous, so it is important not to attempt to make major repairs by yourself. However, there are minor cleaning and maintenance tasks that you can perform that will help your furnace continue to run smoothly. Inspecting your furnace several times a year will let you discover problem areas before they become emergencies. Here’s what to do:
- Test Your Furnace: Turn up your thermostat and test your furnace in early fall. If you turn your thermostat to ninety degrees, the furnace should kick on in a minute or two. If the furnace does not start, you have to diagnose the issue. If the furnace does start, you should observe the furnace during operation and be on the lookout for potential problems.
- Inspect the Burner Flames: When the furnace is running, the flames should be even and blue. Yellow and flickering flames indicate that there is an issue you need to attend to. If the flames are yellow and flickering, turn off your furnace and give the burner time to cool. Then vacuum out the burners by taping a small hose to your vacuum cleaner.
Make sure you are gentle and do not strike any element of the burner surface with your vacuum hose. If vacuuming doesn’t fix the issue, do not attempt to make any adjustments to the flame. Flame adjustment should be left to a certified HVAC technician.
- Change Your Air Filter: Changing your air filter is an easy, basic, and important component of furnace maintenance. Check your user’s manual to see how many filters are necessary and always have several extra air filters in your home. Dirty air filters clog and overwork your furnace and can decrease the air quality in your home.
- Oil and Belt Cracks: Some furnaces require annual lubrication of the motor and the blower shaft bearings. Check your user’s manual to determine if annual oiling is necessary. If there is an oil hole, apply two or three drops of lightweight machine oil. Do not over-lubricate your motor. Also, check for cracks in the drive belt of the blower. Changing a blower belt is easy and inexpensive, but it is always easier to perform the job on a warm fall day.
Prevent Emergencies With Basic Maintenance
Every year HVAC technicians are overworked during cold snaps that cause furnace failures. To prevent an emergency failure, it is important to make sure your furnace is well-maintained and in proper working order before the bad weather comes. Proper maintenance can help you prevent the massive expenses that come from catastrophic furnace failures.
Along with practicing regular furnace maintenance, it’s a good idea to have your furnace serviced by a certified HVAC technician at least once a year. Professional technicians have the experience to recognize problem areas and fix them before they become serious issues. If you need emergency furnace repair or want to schedule an appointment to have your furnace serviced, contact the experienced professionals at Air Force Heating today.