When your furnace is brand new, you probably experience few issues, if any. Of course, you have to learn how your new system works, but by and large, you expect your product to function perfectly out of the box and perform at optimum levels. Unfortunately, the machinery that warms your home will not continue to give you the energy efficiency and on-demand service you crave if you fail to care for it properly. In fact, it could not only become more expensive and less productive, but you could risk fire hazard or complete failure of the system in time. This means that you will have to engage in tune-up tasks and perform regular maintenance in order to keep your furnace functioning at peak levels and to ensure the reliability that you need during the colder months. Here are a few tips to keep your furnace in ship shape.
The place to begin with any furnace tune-up is by inspecting the unit from top to bottom. But what are you looking for? For one thing, you’ll want to spot dust, dirt, or debris that has built up in or on the unit, as well as note any parts that seem to be deteriorated, damaged, or otherwise in need of repair or replacement. You also want to make sure that the pilot and fuel jets are working, and you can do this by turning up the temperature so that the furnace kicks on. And you should check out the blower and the burners, as well. This visual inspection will help you to create a checklist of tasks to complete in order to keep your furnace functioning properly.
Once you’ve completed your inspection it’s time to start removing parts for cleaning (if you haven’t already). You should begin by turning the unit off (lower the thermostat and turn off the gas) for the sake of safety. You’ll certainly want to clean the outer casing if it has collected dust and dirt, and you should also remove the furnace cover so that you can remove and replace the filter (or clean it and put it back in, depending on the type of filter you use and how dirty it is). You will then check the blower to make sure that nothing is obstructing it. Although you may not feel qualified to address issues with the blower, an inspection and cleaning are probably within your ability.
As for the burners, you can certainly inspect them and perform a basic cleaning, but if they need to be removed for cleaning, you might want to call in a professional technician. And of course, if you encounter any major problems, bringing in a pro is a must. In truth, it’s a good idea to schedule annual service for your HVAC system in order to maintain the integrity of your system, improve indoor air quality, and ensure that small problems don’t turn into major issues and huge expenses. You can do your part by keeping an eye on your furnace in the meantime, cleaning and replacing the filter as needed, and so on. But if you want to make sure that your furnace functions properly for years to come, hiring a professional HVAC technician annually to clean, inspect, maintain, and repair your system is probably your best bet.