Most people tend to remember that their furnace is not in working condition when winter approaches. To be on the safe side, you would rather not make that frantic last-minute call after your furnace has been lying dormant for several months. It helps to be sure that your furnace will roar into life when the first signs of winter check in around November.
When you constantly check on your furnace system’s working conditions and reliability, you minimize the potential for costly repairs and significantly reduce your regular heating bills. The following 5 tips for maintaining your furnace will help you to keep your furnace in great shape throughout the year.
1. Inspect The Furnace Filter Regularly and Replace it if Necessary
You should check the furnace filter regularly to ensure it is not clogged with debris and dust. Your furnace is forced to work too hard whenever the airflow is too constrained, lowering its efficiency. It will also wear out quickly, with your energy bills rising significantly.
Change your filter monthly. However, if your filter is of advanced quality, you should change it at least once every three months. Regularly checking out the condition of your furnace filter will greatly save you the pain of dealing with costly emergencies.
2. Inspect the Flue Pipe for Leakages
Inspect the flue pipe jutting out of the upper part of your furnace and ensure it is venting efficiently. Any holes in it will leak dangerous by-products such as carbon monoxide, which makes running your furnace an exposure to grave health risks.
Check out the connection of the pipe with the furnace and patch up any existing small holes using foil tape. Most importantly, ensure that you replace any faulty flues. A defective installation will most likely cause a structural leak that might need a complete re-installation. In such cases, you require professional furnace service providers to fix the problem.
3. Clean Out the Blower Compartment and the Access Area
Check out all the unit access panels to eliminate any dirt, dust, and debris that might be building up inside. You can easily clean the areas around the blower and motor using a dry/wet vacuum. Use a soft brush and a dry/damp vacuum to carefully clean the other mechanical parts of the blower compartment. After vacuuming, use a wet cloth to wipe the entire blower compartment.
Navigate carefully around the wires whilst checking them for any loose connections and corrosion. Ensure you tighten all accessible bad connections using a nut-driver, wrench, or screwdriver. Also, check out the burner in the flame shield for rusting. If you strongly feel that something is not right in the interior of your furnace, seek expert help.
4. Regularly Check Out and Oil the Blower Motor
Your furnace blower is run by an electric motor, which pushes the heated air through the ductwork. The bearing in the blower motor needs regular lubrication. Ensure there is oil between the blower motor’s bushing and the shaft if the unit is to function correctly at all times.
Inspecting the wear and tension in the blower’s belt is also advisable since a loose belt can easily slow your blower down. If the belt has signs of wear and tear or is frayed, it is time to replace it. When you press it firmly, any deflection of the belt beyond ¾ of an inch should be tightened by sliding the motor back.
5. Ensure the Air Registers Are Always Clean
It is normal for the air registers in your house to gather a lot of pet hair, dust, food particles, and many other stray fragments over long periods. The effects of clogged air registers are not any different from those of defective filters. The gathered dirt and dust limit airflow, besides making the air dirty and straining your furnace while trying to give your home the desirable temperature.
Get out all the floor registers within your home and remove any blockages using a powerful vacuum. Ensuring that your furnace registers are always clean goes a long way to stopping your furnace from overworking.
Prevention is always better than cure. Regular maintenance of your furnace will thwart costly emergency repairs. You only need to take a few necessary steps to ensure that your furnace keeps pumping the essential hot air, throughout your house, as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Always switch the furnace’s power source off before performing any maintenance routines.