Maintaining your furnace is something you need to do on a regular basis, otherwise you run the risk of not having it when you need it most. But being without a furnace through the winter is nobody’s idea of a good time. This is why you want to take precautionary measures for shoring up your furnace before it gets cold out, that way you know it will be ready to work for you.
Calling your furnace service technician ahead of any problems that might emerge is the best choice for keeping your heating system working at peak performance. Prepping the furnace for the winter should be done well before that time of year arrives.
Your technician will come over to check the furnace and diagnose any current or potential future problems that may result in a major malfunction that requires repair. Avoid having your furnace on the fritz by calling in a heating expert who can analyze the condition of the furnace, tune it up, give it a thorough cleaning, and bring your attention to any parts that need to be fixed or replaced, either now or in the near future.
Believe it when you hear that having a technician diagnose your furnace ahead of time can be a lot less expensive than paying those high repair costs later on. Routine check-ups can also preserve the lifespan of your furnace, allowing you to get the most value from your investment. A furnace isn’t cheap, you surely don’t want to pay to replace it sooner than you would normally expect.
Preparatory Maintenance Tips
Whether you have the technician come by to do this work or you would rather do the work yourself, there are some specific steps to take that can be of good use for keeping your furnace from breaking down when you need it most.
Some issues might call for a professional’s expertise, but most of the common maintenance that should be performed on a furnace can be done by you:
Switch on The Thermostat
The thermostat is the nerve center of your HVAC system, so you want to be sure that it is working properly. So, turn the heat on and turn the temperature a few degrees above the current temperature in your room. You should hear the heating system trigger itself on with a discernible click sound. In the event that you do not, check the thermostat to see if it’s working properly. You may need to put in new batteries or remove the cover of the device and check that the wires are connected properly.
Swap Your System’s Air Filter
Another crucial component for the proper, successful operation of your furnace and the entire heating system as whole is the air filter. HVAC systems require proper air flow in order to work correctly. When that air flow is impeded or interrupted in any way, that can be bad for your heating system. It is forced to work longer and harder that need be, overtaxing the system and increasing wear and tear.
So, check your air filter. How dirty is your filter? Chances are you need to change it out. In fact, the rule of thumb for air filters in HVAC systems is to swap them out every two to three months based on how often you run the heating on a weekly basis.
Check Your Heat Exchanger
Your air filter is just one critical component of the system that needs to be clean. Another is the heat exchanger which needs to be vacuumed and brushed out at least once a year. This is one of those services that you will need to hire an expert to perform for you, don’t try to do this one at home yourself. Not unless you have some training in knowing how to examine for any cracks through which carbon monoxide might seep into the interior of the home.
A carbon monoxide leak can be extremely dangerous as this odorless gas could kill you if it’s inhaled. The problem is that you wouldn’t know there is a leak until it’s too late. Carbon monoxide detectors are essential for alerting the homeowners such a leak is taking place.
Give the Blower Motor Some Attention
Cleaning the blower motor is also critical for your furnace before the winter. But some blower motors also require lubrication. Not all, however, so you should read through your furnace owner’s manual to find out if yours is among those models that needs to be lubricated.