Furnace Maintenance Tips for the Uninitiated

Proper maintenance of your furnace will help preserve its efficiency and extend its life.

Every year when it comes time to turn on the heat, some people knock on wood, cross their fingers, and close their eyes mumbling a prayer or two to help propagate the furnace to turn on and run smoothly. Sometimes this method work great. But when it fails, it is not a good feeling. Most of the time, furnaces fail because of improper, or a complete lack of maintenance.

Furnace Filter

The furnace is a machine that performs multiple duties. The first duty is creating heat through either burning fuel or heating electrical elements. The second is to turn on a powerful fan that distributes the hot air to the entire house. Through the course of this process, air returns back to the furnace from the house carrying with it dust and other particles that are in the air. This gets the furnace dirty and causes items to fail. Replacing the furnace filter every 3 months will help keep the furnace clean and also will cut down on the amount of dust in the house.
Professional Cleaning and Inspection

Having an annual cleaning is a smart idea. For around $60, an HVAC technician will come to your house and go through your furnace to look for any possible issues, do a carbon monoxide test, and clean any dust or debris that can cause premature failure. This is also important for safety reasons as carbon monoxide is extremely deadly in large doses. The cracking of the heat exchanger in your furnace could create this very scenario, one in which you would have no idea about because carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless.Annual checkups like these extend the life of a furnace significantly and are important as a safety precaution as well.

Central Air Conditioning

If you have a central air conditioning system that is attached to the furnace, you should periodically check it in the summer time to make sure that there is no water dripping or frozen pipes. These are signs that the air conditioning unit it malfunctioning and needs to be replaced. What’s worse is that this can actually freeze the evaporator coil above the furnace in the supply plenum. When it melts, all that water goes right into the furnace heat exchanger and can cause some serious damage.

Boiler Furnaces

If you have a boiler furnace, make sure you check the plumbing for corrosion on shut off valves and at the inflow and out flow of expansion tanks. This buildup should be cleaned off to prevent further decay.

Using these simple tips will help preserve your furnace for many years and keep your efficiency at optimum level.