A furnace is the key to keeping your home warm during the wintertime, but furnaces are prone to frequent breakdowns. However, you can reduce potential breakdowns by keeping up with furnace maintenance, which is relatively easy and cheap to do. There are a lot of moving parts of a furnace, so you need to know what parts to focus on so that you can do the necessary upkeep. Learn about all the essential maintenance for a furnace you need to keep up with below.
Before You Begin
Before you start to perform some essential maintenance for a furnace, you will want to do a few things. First and foremost, for most of the furnace upkeep you will need to stay on top of, you will want to make sure that the furnace is turned off. You can turn it off through the main electrical entrance pane where you can remove the fuse that powers the furnace.
Change the Furnace Filter
The easiest piece of furnace maintenance is changing the filter when the time comes. There are several ways to tell if it’s time to change the filter, ranging from how much time has passed since replacing the last filter (anywhere from 1 to 3 months) to the appearance of the filter itself. Changing your furnace filter when the time comes can prevent any further issues with your furnace by protecting the blower and blower motor. If you are in need of fiberglass furnace filters, Remember The Filter has a wide selection of them so you can keep up with your furnace’s needs.
Seal Air Ducts
The next important piece of maintenance of your home’s furnace that you must keep up with is the air ducts. When it comes to air ducts, you will want to make sure you seal any air ducts that are leaking with metal tape. If you must seal the air duct, also make sure you perform a back-drafting test to check combustion gases and the exhaust vent pipes.
Look at the Motor Belt
A motor belt is vital to the functionality of a furnace. That is why you must take a look at your furnace to see if the motor belt is adjusted properly, and to make sure that it’s not too loose. You also need to inspect the motor belt for any cracks and other damage. Check it by removing the entire motor belt and replacing it if necessary.
Clean the Blower
Next up, you should also clean your furnace’s blower. To do this, you will need to remove the entire blower from your furnace. If you have a control panel located in front of the furnace, you will want to loosen it so you can take the blower out.
Remove Dust from Pilot
Another part of the furnace that you will want to clean is the pilot. It’s vital that a pilot is clean because it can cause a flame senor to misread whether the pilot is lit or not. All you need to do to clean a pilot is simply remove the dust from it. This can be done by simply blowing on the pilot through a drinking straw.
Dust the Hot Surface Igniter
The hot surface igniter is another piece of your furnace that you will want clean of dust and debris. When you do remove the dust from the hot surface igniter, you will want to make sure that you do your best not to touch the igniter itself. Like a pilot, you can also remove the dust by simply blowing air at it through a drinking straw.
Check the Burner Flames
You are also going to need to keep up with furnace maintenance by inspecting the burner flames. For this piece of maintenance, you are going to want to turn the power on and turn the thermostat off. Then you should be able to see that the flames are red and blue. If the burner flame is yellow, that indicates it’s dirty and it’s best to seek help from a professional.
Some furnace heating ducts are also used as air conditioning ducts as well, which means adjustments are necessary when the season changes. Therefore, you will probably have the settings marked for each different season. This can be easily adjusted by simply adjusting the damper handle to the seasonal mark.
If your furnace is older, then it may have two motor bearings. To maintain the bearings, you will need to lubricate them with oil at least once a year. As you lubricate the bearings, you should also clean the space around the oil caps and then remove them when you apply the drops of oil.
You may live in a home that has a chimney. If this is the case, you will want to make sure that your chimney and any associated vents aren’t blocked by snow, nests, or any other debris. To check, all you need to do is go outside and see if there is any blockage, removing what is necessary to ensure that your furnace works properly.
Seek Professional Help When Necessary
While there is a lot of furnace maintenance you can do on your own at home, there are some cases when you need to call a professional. If your thermostat isn’t working or your furnace isn’t working to its full capacity, then you should call a professional expert. A professional can then diagnose the source of the problem and repair any issues. As you keep up with maintenance on your own, it’s not a bad idea to have a professional check your furnace at least once a year as well.
Your furnace is an important part of your home, but there are many ways it can start to malfunction. Breakdowns can not only result in your furnace malfunctioning but can also prove to be quite costly. Like most pieces of machinery, proper maintenance can go a long way in not only making sure your furnace is in proper working order, but also by saving you money in the process. Proper furnace maintenance starts with replacing your furnace filter, and Remember The Filter has a wide selection of furnace filters available from trusted manufacturers like AAF Flanders, ExactFitlers, NaturalAire, and EZ Flow, providing furnace filters of all sizes based on your needs. Shop online and get a pack of furnace filters at a reasonable price today!