8 Furnace Maintenance Tips to Never Ignore
American consumers are aware of furnace maintenance and the cost of foregoing maintenance on machinery, such as a car; ignoring simple tasks, like changing the oil, inflating tires properly, and replacing brake pads as needed, can result in disaster.
Fewer people are familiar with the furnace maintenance required by the furnace system (HVAC) in homes and apartments and the hazards that can result from ignoring these tasks. Here are eight Furnace Maintenance tasks that you don’t want to ignore.
- Set a schedule for air filter changes. Filters collect dust, pollen, and other airborne particles to clean the air and keep it from collecting on internal furnace components. If the filter is left unchanged, the particles will cover the entire filter surface and clog the vital airflow. Use seasonal reminders—the change of seasons or holidays—as filter-changing reminders.
- Clean, clean, clean. The two greatest enemies of your furnace are dirt (dust, pollen, soot) and wear-n-tear. Not using your furnace is not an option, so keeping everything as clean as possible is the best maintenance task. That includes regular household dusting, mopping, vacuuming, and scheduling a duct cleaning about every 3 to 5 years.
- Inspect your building envelope. The insulation, windows, and doors are a barrier between the cold outdoors and a warm, cozy home indoors. Finding gaps or thin insulation in this envelope can make a big difference in the comfort level of family members. Many of these tasks are simple, DIY projects, requiring few tools or skills. Add insulation and caulk around windows and doors as needed.
- Change the thermostat batteries. Old, round thermostats were analog and used a simple mechanical switch to signal the need for heat. However, new thermostats are battery-powered, using simple electronic controls, and the batteries need to be changed annually. Schedule a battery change at the same time you change batteries in smoke and CO detectors.
- Make any needed repairs quickly. When a small component is stressed and goes awry, it can lead to a cascade of stress on other parts and eventual failure. To prevent multiple component failures, take care of existing problems quickly.
- Schedule an annual inspection. A complicated mechanical system needs regular maintenance by trained professionals and a furnace is no different. Technicians will clean, test, and inspect electrical and mechanical switches, sensors, and controls to ensure proper function and efficiency. These inspections extend the useful life of the furnace and ensure the system works efficiently all the way.
- Gas-powered furnaces need regular care. First, the combustion of natural gas or propane produces significant water vapor and much heat. The surface of the steel heat exchanger and exhaust vent will react with the water and create rust. Should a leak develop in the weakened walls of the furnace heat exchanger, it would allow carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide to leak inside the home with deadly consequences.
- Gas-powered furnaces need regular care, round two. Second, combustion can also produce a dusting of carbon, commonly called soot. Carbon alone coats the sensors and ignition mechanisms and prevents the gas from igniting. An inspection includes cleaning the soot away. In addition, when carbon and water vapor combine, it produces a destructive acid that eats away at the burner mechanism. Regular maintenance of a natural gas furnace is extremely important.
Need Furnace Maintenance, Call Us Today!
Contact our Furnace Maintenance team at Doctor Cool & Professor Heat today at 281-338-8751 or email Doctor Cool and let our professional Residential Emergency Furnace Repair technicians assist with all of your HVAC maintenance questions.