5 Essential Furnace Maintenance Tips
When is the last time you performed maintenance on your furnace?
With colder weather coming, your heating system will work overtime to keep your house warm. To prevent a call to a heating professional during peak season, take a look at your furnace and perform preventative maintenance now. Here are some tips to help you keep your furnace healthy:
#1 Look at the air filter.
Check the furnace air filter on a monthly basis for any dirt and debris. If it’s been working hard to battle drafts or cold nights, it’s probably accumulated some dust. Too much dirt can lead to reduced efficiency and failure of the furnace. When that is an imminent threat, you need to change out the filter. Use the old one to find a new filter that fits in your furnace.
#2 Vacuum around the furnace.
Dirt and debris can also build up inside the furnace and its parts. So, you will need to vacuum inside every once in awhile. Open the door and use a cleaner’s attachment to get any debris out of the base and burners. You should also vacuum in the crevices behind the furnace.
#3 Inspect fanbelt.
The furnace’s fanbelts wear down and loosen over time, so check them occasionally and make replacements as needed. These are essential in moving the blower. If one is loose, you can sometimes tighten it by loosening its bracket. Otherwise, you will need to put a new fanbelt in.
#4 Lubricate bearings.
In older furnace models, the bearings will need regular oiling. You can use household oil to keep them lubed and in good condition for the winter ahead. Find the oil caps and remove them. Be sure not to put too much oil in though, or you could be looking at a potential fire hazard in your furnace.
#5 Keep vents clean and clear.
Though not a part of the furnace itself, the vents help to move the hot air it produces through the rest of the house. If the vents are filled with dirt and debris, your rooms will fail to warm. Use a vacuum cleaner or duster occasionally to get dust out. If you have a lot of vents or a very large home, you can have them professionally cleaned for about $330. Otherwise, your furnace will work harder to warm your rooms, which increases your gas bill.
Getting a pro out for inspections
Heating contractors can do a more in-depth inspection of your furnace and may find potential problems that, unaddressed, could lead to expensive repair costs. For example, they can make sure your thermostat is working with the furnace and can also:
- Tighten connections
- Oil all the moving parts
- Inspect the connected gas lines
If you think your heating system might need some additional work or cursory maintenance outside of what you can do on your own, schedule a maintenance appointment with a local professional.