With summer winding down and autumn around the corner, now is the time to make sure your home’s furnace is running properly so you can go right on heating your home properly through the colder months. There are a few furnace maintenance tips every homeowner should know about to avoid costly repairs. Your HVAC system (which your furnace is part of) is one of three important home systems that must undergo regular maintenance to remain efficient and safe and to avoid expensive repairs. Electrical and plumbing are the other two.
Always be sure that your furnace is not leaking gas; people are injured every year due to faulty mechanical components or damaged hardware. The worst part about leaks is that most of the time they will go unnoticed, which is why it is important to inspect your home’s furnace on a regular basis. Even if you live in a new home or have an updated HVAC system, these problems can still arise.
Taking Care of Your Furnace: Top Tips
- Turn off the fuel supply and electrical power before doing any furnace maintenance. When in doubt, call a professional.
- Check your thermostat. Problems with the thermostat are bound to affect the furnace. The reason is that when the thermostat acts up (you can quickly tell because your house will either be noticeably hotter or colder than it is supposed to be), it causes the furnace to run inefficiently. In essence, the HVAC system will be getting mixed signals and won’t know when to turn on and off. If you want to spend a lot of extra money on your energy bills, this is one way to do it.
- Change the air filter before it gets too dirty. This is a very simple task that can be completed in a matter of seconds. In addition to causing potential clogs and damaging various mechanical parts, a contaminated filter also poses serious health hazards. If anyone in you family has a condition such as asthma, they are put at even greater risk. The air filter should be inspected at least once a month and changed every three months. Be sure to get a HIPA-rated one as well, as these are the most effective at trapping airborne debris.
- Oil the motor, dust the vents, and take a look at the pilot light. These maintenance tips are typically ignored, but they are just as important as any other.
These are just a few of many furnace maintenance tips, but they are a good place to start. If you suspect there may be a problem, don’t hesitate to contact your local HVAC contractor.