To stay warm this winter, you must take care of your furnace. Here are some tips to keep your furnace running smoothly and your home toasty all season long.
Why furnace maintenance is important
Your furnace is one of the most critical appliances in your home, and it’s essential to keep it in good working order. Regular maintenance will help extend the life of your furnace and ensure that it runs more efficiently, saving you money on your energy bills.
Furnace maintenance is particularly important before the cold weather sets in in the fall. By taking some time to clean and inspect your furnace now, you can avoid surprises when you turn it on for the first time this winter.
Here are some tips for maintaining your furnace:
- Inspect and clean the filters: Dirty filters can restrict airflow and cause your furnace to work harder, leading to expensive repair bills. Inspect your filters monthly and replace them as needed.
- Inspect and clean the blower: It is responsible for circulating air through your home, so it’s essential to keep it clean. Inspect the blower monthly and clean it as needed.
- Inspect and clean the burners: The burners heat the air circulated through your home. Over time, they can become clogged with dirt and dust. Inspect them monthly and clean them as needed.
- Inspect and clean the flue: The flue is responsible for carrying away dangerous gases produced by your furnace. Inspect it monthly and make sure it is clear of any debris.
- If your furnace has an oil-based system, you’ll need to check the oil level regularly and top it off when necessary.
- Check for any air leaks around the furnace. These gaps can let in cold air, making the system work harder than necessary to heat your home.
- Inspect the flue pipe to ensure it’s not blocked or damaged. The flue pipe expels fumes from the furnace, so it’s essential that it’s clear so that these fumes don’t build up inside your home.
How to change your furnace filter
Just like any other appliance in your home, your furnace needs regular maintenance to run correctly. One of the most important things you can do to keep your furnace in good shape is regularly changing the filter. A clogged or dirty filter will make your furnace work harder and could lead to premature wear and tear.
If you’re unsure how often to change your furnace filter, a good rule of thumb is to check it once a month and change it as needed. Some filters can last up to three months, but if you have pets or live in a dusty area, you may need to change them more often.
Changing your furnace filter is a simple task that takes just a few minutes. Here’s how to do it:
- Turn off your furnace. You don’t want to work on the unit while it’s running.
- Locate the filter Housing unit. This is usually located near the bottom of the furnace near the blower motor.
- Remove the old filter and dispose of it properly. Be sure not to touch the dirty surface of the filter with your bare hands.
- Install the new filter according to the manufacturer’s directions. Be sure that the arrow on the filter is pointing in the correct direction—toward the blower motor.
- Turn on your furnace and check for proper operation
How to troubleshoot furnace problems
If your furnace isn’t working, don’t panic! You can often troubleshoot and fix the problem yourself. Here are some common furnace problems and how to fix them:
- Check the thermostat: First, make sure the thermostat is turned on and set to heat mode. The furnace won’t turn on if it’s on but set to cool mode.
- Check the circuit breaker or fuse: If the furnace still doesn’t turn on, check the circuit breaker or fuse box for a blown fuse.
- Clean or replace the filter: A dirty filter can restrict airflow and cause the furnace to overheat, so be sure to check it monthly and clean or replace it as needed.
- Check for obstructions: Next, check for any obstructions in the exhaust pipe or around the furnace that could be blocking airflow.
- Check for a gas leak: Ensure no gas leaks if you have a gas furnace. If you smell gas, open all windows and leave the house immediately. Do not attempt to troubleshoot a gas leak yourself!
- Call a professional: If you’ve tried all these things and your furnace still isn’t working, it’s time to call a professional HVAC technician for help.
When to call a professional for furnace maintenance
Keeping your furnace in good working order is essential to avoid a breakdown in the middle of winter. But how do you know when it’s time to call a professional for furnace maintenance?
Here are a few signs that it might be time to schedule an appointment:
- Your furnace is more than 15 years old. Even if it’s working well, an older furnace may not be as efficient as a newer model.
- Your energy bills have been increasing. This could be a sign that your furnace is working harder than it should.
- You hear strange noises coming from your furnace. This could indicate something wrong with the fan or other components.
- Your home isn’t as warm as it used to be. This could mean that your furnace isn’t heating properly.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to call a professional for furnace maintenance. They can help diagnose the problem and make any necessary repairs.
The benefits of regular furnace maintenance
It’s no secret that furnace maintenance is essential. After all, your furnace keeps your home warm and comfortable during the winter months. But did you know that there are several benefits to maintaining your furnace regularly?
Here are just a few of the benefits of regular furnace maintenance:
1. Improved Efficiency
One of the most significant benefits of regular furnace maintenance is improved efficiency. Over time, your furnace will build up dirt and debris, clogging up the unit’s workings and making it less efficient. By having your furnace professionally cleaned and serviced regularly, you can help keep it running smoothly and efficiently.
2. Reduced Repair Costs
Another benefit of regular furnace maintenance is reduced repair costs. When your furnace is well-maintained, there’s less chance that something will go wrong. And if something goes wrong, it’s likely to be a minor issue that can be easily fixed rather than a significant problem that requires extensive (and expensive) repairs.
3. Extended Furnace Life
Regular furnace maintenance can also help extend the life of your unit. When you keep your furnace clean and in good working condition, it’s less likely to break down prematurely. This means you won’t have to replace it as often, which can save you money in the long run.
4. Improved Indoor Air Quality
Lastly, regular furnace maintenance can also improve the air quality in your home. When your furnace is clean and running efficiently, it won’t circulate dust and other particles through your home as much. This can improve air quality, especially for people with allergies or asthma.
The importance of a furnace tune-up
Your furnace is one of the essential systems in your home, and it needs to be correctly maintained to keep it running efficiently and effectively. That’s why it’s crucial to have a furnace tune-up every year, preferably in the fall, before you start using it regularly.
A furnace tune-up involves a thorough inspection of your system and cleaning and adjustments to ensure that it’s in good condition. This can help prevent problems like unexpected breakdowns or inefficient operation, both of which can be costly.
In addition to a yearly tune-up, there are some basic maintenance tasks you can do yourself to keep your furnace in good shape. These include changing the air filter regularly, vacuuming the area around the furnace, and making sure nothing is blocking the airflow to and from the furnace.
By taking these steps, you can help prolong the life of your furnace and keep your home warm and comfortable all winter long.
How to prepare your furnace for winter
It’s that time of year again. The leaves are falling, the air is crisp, and we’re all hunkering down for the long winter months ahead. For many of us, that means firing up the furnace for the first time in months.
Before you do, it’s essential to take some steps to make sure your furnace is in good working order. These simple tips will help ensure that your furnace can keep your home warm and cozy all winter long.
- Schedule a professional tune-up. If you haven’t had your furnace serviced in a while, now is the time to do it. A technician can clean and inspect your furnace and make necessary repairs or adjustments. This will help improve its efficiency and prevent potential problems down the road.
- Check (or replace) your furnace filter. A dirty filter can restrict airflow and cause your furnace to work harder than necessary. If you haven’t changed your filter in a while, it’s a good idea to do so now — and consider changing it more frequently during the winter when your furnace is running more often.
- Clear away any obstacles near your furnace. Furnaces need adequate airflow to function correctly, so ensure no objects are blocking the vents or intakes on your unit. This includes furniture, laundry baskets, boxes, etc.
- Inspect your ductwork for leaks or damage. If you have leaky ducts, they can not only reduce the efficiency of your furnace but also cause health problems due to mold or airborne allergens entering your home through the leaks. If you suspect a problem with your ductwork, have it inspected by a professional before using your furnace this winter.
- Keep an eye on (and change) your thermostat batteries. A dead battery can cause your thermostat to malfunction, making it difficult to keep your home at a comfortable temperature — not to mention costing you money in higher energy bills as a result! It’s a good idea to check (and replace) the batteries in your smoke detectors and thermostat(s) at least once yearly — although changing them more often is never a bad idea!
If you are looking for a professional and reliable HVAC service provider, feel free to get in touch with Rod’s Cooling & Heating LLC. We are just a phone call away – 316 776 4088!