No matter where you reside, you should make sure your heating system is prepared for the coming winter.
Furnaces are still the main source of house heating in most of Canada and a sizable chunk of the United States.
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere temperate, you probably don’t switch on your furnace until at least October, which means it has been off for almost six months.
It’s important to review some important furnace maintenance advice before the chilly air arrives.
These chores guarantee that your furnace is not just operating at its best, but also truly operating.
Here are the top 9 regular furnace maintenance tasks that everyone should complete, preferably just before the heating season, at least once a year.
1. Clean your vents, filters, and ducts
Having the right airflow is crucial for heat transmission.
It’s recommended that you clean your vents and replace your air filter at least twice a year, but during the winter when you use your HVAC system more frequently, it becomes even more crucial.
You can now choose from a huge selection of air filters and air-cleaning devices if you want spotless air.
But it is a topic for a completely different essay, which you can discover here if you’re interested in learning more about indoor air quality and your air filter.
It takes work to clean your vents and ducts.
To remove the vents, you’ll need your vacuum and hose (preferably a shop-vac), as well as a brush, microfiber cloths, and a screwdriver.
Cover your registers with paper towels or cleaning cloths before you begin.
If your registers don’t blow out the dust, it will accumulate inside your house.
After that, turn off the heat but leave the power on so you may use the fan to blow dust into your supply register from the furnace and vents.
To clean the debris out of your supply registers, turn off the fan and vacuum (or use a brush).
To access the piping system if you don’t have a long hose attachment, get a long broom.
After that, you can remove the air registers and clean them of any dust.
You can begin to enter your major ducts from here.
Turn off your system’s fan and the entire power supply. To complete this, you’ll need a powerful shop vac; your house vacuum won’t be able to handle it.
Since this is arguably the trickiest and messiest step in the procedure, you might find it helpful to seek professional assistance. While you’re at it, remember to check the exhaust flue!
You can swap out your air filter for a clean one once everything has been cleaned up. Now is the time to clean the other parts of your heating system as well.
2. Am I the only one that feels Drafty in here?
Older homes can have several drafty zones because not all of them are built equally. Try to seal any drafts you find in your home by keeping an eye out for them.
Your every heat release is equivalent to tossing money in the garbage. It could be time to fix any damaged windows or outdated doors right now.
3. Ensure Heat Exchanger Cleanness
A crucial part of your furnace is the heat exchanger, which heats the air needed to create heat for your house.
Additionally, it should be cleaned at least once a year to remove dust and debris and ensure proper operation.
Turn off your system and, if necessary, the gas as well in order to clean your heat exchanger.
Then take a brush and clean the exchanger block of any dirt or debris.
If necessary, wipe away any hardened buildup with a moist cloth. Finally, thoroughly clean the block assembly’s chambers using a narrow vacuum attachment.
You can benefit from a professional cleaning if your system is older. An HVAC expert will be able to access all the necessary components and look for a fractured heat exchanger.
Carbon monoxide leaks from damaged heat exchangers in furnaces can be hazardous.
4. Inspect your fan and blower motor
The air is circulated into the vents by your blower motor, and dust might prevent it from working properly.
When cleaning the heat exchanger, you should also clean the blower motor (while the system is completely off).
Remove the blower door to clean the blower.
Safety comes first, therefore turn off the electrical power and the fuel supply to your furnace before doing any DIY furnace maintenance. At the main gas valve, close the gas supply.
The blower switch may also need to be taken out. The fan can then be removed from the cabinet using a screwdriver, but be careful not to damage the wiring or your fingers.
The wiring along the borders of the cabinet should not be jeopardized.
After cleaning the cabinet with the vacuum hose, clean the blower wheel and motor with a paintbrush or a toothbrush.
You might need to grease the blower motor after cleaning it. Check your owner’s manual to verify if this step is necessary for your furnace.
Before removing the blower bearings to grease them, clean the caps on the bearings.
5. Check your thermostat twice
Consider hiring a heating specialist and paying them $150 to set your thermostat to heat your home.
Check your t-stat to make sure it’s set correctly because it happens more frequently than you might expect.
Does your thermostat even work? The moment has come to find out.
Turn your furnace back on after vacuuming it and replacing all the components (and restore the gas if necessary). Increase the temperature by going to your thermostat.
The heat will come on in approximately a minute if the thermostat is working properly. You can have an issue with the thermostat if you don’t hear the furnace turn on.
Remove the cover first, then check your connections. All of the wiring connections ought to be secure.
If you’re unsure how to achieve this, a tip would be to search Google or YouTube. (If you’re uncomfortable, ask a professional or an electrician to perform it.)
If the cables appear to be in good condition, confirm that you turned on the power source after cleaning.
You require an HVAC specialist if it still doesn’t function.
One of the numerous components, such as your blower, heat pump, or furnace fan, could be the problem. A broken thermostat is another possibility.
A specialist can examine each component and identify the offender.
6. Battery power!
Even though smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can be bothersome with their constant beeping, they do it because their batteries are running low and they need to be replaced.
Therefore, put down your pocketbook and ensure the safety of your family, home, and yourself by changing the batteries.
7. My furnace smells—why?
There can be a faint burning smell when you first switch on your heating system.
Most likely, the scent is merely dust burning off on your heat exchanger, but if it persists, be sure to take the appropriate safety measures.
Paints or chemicals shouldn’t be kept in your furnace room. Even though you might not be able to smell them, the fumes from them can harm your furnace’s heat exchanger.
This may result in costly repairs as well as carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep the area around your furnace tidy and uncluttered.
Your furnace may emit smells that are similar to those of your air conditioner.
Check read this post for more details on the most typical odors that might emanate from your HVAC systems.
If it doesn’t smell right, that can give you a clue as to what might be wrong.
8. Inspections before a season
An annual tune-up and comprehensive cleaning are beneficial for even the most experienced do-it-yourselfers. Why?
Considering that nearly all HVAC manufacturers include one as a condition of their warranty.
If your furnace goes out in the middle of the winter, skipping your annual check-up could cost you dearly.
You should contact a nearby HVAC service firm to schedule a pre-season inspection and maintenance if you truly want to ensure that your furnace will operate securely and dependably during the winter.
So plan an inspection before it gets too chilly and be ready.
The pre-season checks will cost less if you engage them as part of an annual furnace maintenance contract, and most businesses will give premium service at a reduced charge in the event of an unexpected breakdown.
Quick Tip: Inform your HVAC technician of any changes.
Keep a record of any furnace, heating, or air conditioning problems you may experience.
Keep a copy of every invoice from a previous visit from an HVAC professional, and keep this documentation next to your furnace.
By helping to alert the present service technician of previous issues, you could avoid spending hundreds of dollars on future repairs.
9. Do I look older than my furnace?
It may be time to compare prices for a new furnace if you take a close look at your heating system and it appears that it could sell for a significant amount on Antique Roadshow.
Get at least three quotes; they will all be identical but having confidence that you are getting a fair deal can help.
Final Advice on Furnace Maintenance
Are you prepared for the upcoming chilly months? Before the first cold snap hits, every homeowner should take a few precautions.
You should at the very least check your thermostat, turn on the furnace once, and change your filter for the season. You could be facing more serious issues if your furnace won’t turn on.
These upkeep duties, however, are the very minimum.
Cleaning your blower, ductwork, and burners as part of routine furnace maintenance keeps furnace disasters from jeopardizing your safety and your finances when winter finally arrives.
Additionally, if your HVAC system is relatively new, it safeguards your warranty.
Use these suggestions right away. The procrastinators decide to phone the nearby HVAC service firm at the same time as the weather starts to change, which won’t be long.
Are you prepared to make a winter furnace tune-up appointment?
When you require an HVAC expert to assist with the comfort of your house, get in touch with BJC Clifton Plumbers.
For further details or a free estimate in your service region, visit our page on furnace services.
Get the best professional guidance possible the first time to maximize your financial resources.
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Best wishes and enjoy a toasty, cozy winter!