How To Maintain Your Furnace
You should perform maintenance on your furnace in order to have the safest and most efficient heating option for your home. If you fail to keep up with a regular cleaning and inspection schedule, your furnace could have dirty filters, clogged burners, or even emit carbon monoxide. Keeping a clean furnace now can help to avoid costly expenses later.
In this article, we will detail some of the key steps you should take to prevent any damage or inefficiency to your furnace, including a carbon monoxide test, cleaning and inspection of motors, burners, fan, and air filters, and proper system lubrication.
Preventative Furnace Maintenance - Testing for Carbon Monoxide
Furnaces that have heat exchangers have the potential of distributing undetectable, poisonous carbon monoxide gas to every room in your house. There are a couple of things that you can do in order to avoid any carbon monoxide leaks. Brush and vacuum the surfaces of the heat exchangers each year, unless explicitly stated otherwise in the owner's manual. Also, you should have a qualified professional check your furnace each fall, prior to heavy use during the winter months.
Furnace Belt Checks
You should periodically check the blower-fan belts of your furnace. If your belt is frayed, worn, or unraveled, it can lead to a less efficient furnace and more expensive heating bills. While split and broken belts are not dangerous, you should have them replaced to ensure that your furnace is working at the optimal level.
Burners are responsible for heating the exchangers within your furnace. If the burners are not working, you won't be receiving any heat throughout your home. When checking the burners, you should ensure that the flames are burning blue. If the flames are a yellowish-red, it means that the fuel is not burning hot or clean. This can lead to corrosion of the burners and clogging of the flame ports.
You should check your furnace's filter on a monthly basis. If the filter appears dirty, you should clean or dispose of it in a timely process and according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Filters that are dirty and clogged can lead to a lower furnace efficiency rate and can wear down various parts quicker. If you would like to reduce allergens and dust in your home, pleated fabric filters are a good and inexpensive choice.
Proper lubrication of the various parts of your furnace will lead to a quieter and longer lasting system. It will reduce the stress on the drive motor and can reduce the operating costs of the furnace as a whole. Lubrication is a task than is easy for any homeowner to accomplish, but make sure to use the proper amount. If you use too much lubricant, it can be sprayed onto portions of your furnace interior. This can cause gunk and dust buildup that will eventually reduce the efficiency of your furnace or cause it to break down altogether.
Even with a clean and properly maintained furnace, it is recommended that you have a yearly inspection performed by a qualified service technician. With this inspection, and the performance of some of the furnace maintenance steps listed above, you can be ensured to have a safe and efficient heating system for your home.