Regardless of where you reside, you need to make sure your heating system is prepared for winter when it arrives.
Furnaces are still the main means of supplying heat to homes throughout the majority of Canada and a sizable section of the United States.
If you’re fortunate enough to live somewhere temperate, you probably wait until at least October before turning on your furnace, which means it has been off for almost six months.
Reviewing some important furnace maintenance advice is vital before the chilly air arrives.
These actions ensure that your furnace is not only operating at its best but also genuinely functioning.
Here are the top 9 routine furnace maintenance tasks that every person should carry out at least once a year, ideally just before the heating season.
1. Clean Your Vents, Ducts, and Filters
Having sufficient airflow is essential for heat transfer.
At least twice a year, you should be cleaning your vents and changing your air filter, but during the winter, when you use your HVAC system more frequently, it becomes even more crucial.
You now have a huge selection of air filters and air-cleaning devices to pick from if you want spotless air.
However, it is a completely different post, and if you want to learn more about indoor air quality and your air filter, click here.
It takes time and effort to clean your ducts and vents.
To remove the vents, you’ll need a screwdriver, a brush, microfiber cloths, and your vacuum cleaner and hose (preferably a shop vac).
Covering your registers with paper towels or cleaning cloths is a good place to start.
Otherwise, it will accumulate within your house and the dust blows out of your registers.
As you use the fan to blow dust out of the furnace and vents and into your supply register, turn off the heat but leave the power on.
Use your vacuum or a brush to clear the debris from your supply registers after turning off the fan.
Get a long broom to reach inside the piping system if you don’t have a long hose attachment.
The air registers can then be removed, and the dust on them can be cleaned as well.
You can begin to access your major ducts from this point on.
Disconnect the system’s entire power supply and fan. To complete this, you will need a shop vac; your home vacuum won’t have the necessary power.
You might find that expert assistance is helpful because this is arguably the most difficult and messy aspect of the process. While you’re there, make sure to inspect the exhaust flue.
When everything is organized, you may swap out your dirty air filter for a clean one. The other parts of your heating system can now be cleaned as well.
2. Is it just me, or is it Drafty in here?
Not every house is made equal, and older houses may have drafty regions. Try to seal any drafts you find by keeping an eye out for them throughout your house.
You are wasting money by exhaling even the smallest amount of heat. Perhaps this is the ideal moment to fix any damaged windows or aging doors you may have.
3. Keep Your Heat Exchanger Clean
The heat exchanger in your furnace is an important part since it warms the air that is utilized to produce heat for your house.
In order to ensure good operation and remove dust and debris, it should also be cleaned at least once a year.
Turn off your system and, if necessary, ensure sure the gas is also off before cleaning your heat exchanger.
After that, clean the exchanger block of any dirt or debris with a brush.
If any hardened accumulation needs to be removed, use a moist cloth. The block assembly should next be thoroughly cleaned using a narrow vacuum attachment.
An expert cleaning of an older system could be advantageous. An HVAC expert can get to all the necessary areas and can look for a cracked heat exchanger.
Carbon monoxide leaks from your furnace might be deadly if the heat exchanger is damaged.
4. Inspect the blower motor and fan
Dust can prevent the blower motor’s ability to properly circulate air into the vents.
Cleaning the heat exchanger and the blower motor should be done simultaneously (while the system is completely off).
Take off the blower door to clean it.
Safety first, though; turn off the electrical power to your furnace and the fuel supply before doing any DIY furnace maintenance. At the primary gas valve, close the supply of gas.
Taking out the blower switch can also be necessary. After that, remove the fan from the cabinet using a screwdriver, being careful to keep both your fingers and the wiring safe.
The wiring along the cabinet borders shouldn’t be put in jeopardy.
Use a paintbrush or a toothbrush to clean the blower wheel and motor after cleaning the cabinet with the vacuum hose.
You could discover that the blower motor needs lubrication after cleaning. Check your furnace’s owner’s handbook to verify if this step is necessary.
After that, lubricate the blower bearing caps by cleaning them before removing the bearings.
5. Verify your thermostat once again
To change your thermostat to heating, picture hiring a heating contractor and paying them $150.
Make sure your t-stat is correctly set, as it occurs more frequently than you might expect.
Even so, does your thermostat work? It’s time to find out right now.
Restart your furnace after cleaning it and replacing all of the components (and restore the gas if necessary). Step over to your thermostat and raise the setting.
In approximately a minute, a working thermostat will turn on the heat. The thermostat itself may malfunction if you don’t hear the furnace turn on.
Check your connections after removing the cover. There should be no loose electrical connections.
If you need help with this, a tip is to search on Google or YouTube. (If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, ask a professional or an electrician to do it.)
Verify again that you turned on the power source after cleaning if the cables appear to be in good condition.
You need an HVAC expert if it still doesn’t function.
Your blower, heat pump, or furnace fan could be the problem, among other components. Another possibility is a broken thermostat.
Each component can be tested by a specialist to identify the offender.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors may constantly beep, but they do so because their batteries are running low and they want you to update them.
Replace the batteries to safeguard yourself, your house, and your family. Put away your money.
7. What causes my furnace to smell?
There can be a faint burning smell when your heating system initially turns on.
Your heat exchanger’s dust is probably merely burning off, but if the smell persisted, be sure to take the appropriate safety measures.
Paint and chemical storage should not be done in your furnace room. The gases from them can harm the heat exchanger in your furnace even though you might not be able to smell them.
In addition to costlier repairs, this may cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep your furnace room tidy and free of clutter.
There may be aromas coming from your furnace that are similar to those emanating from your air conditioner.
Check read this page for more details on the most typical odors that your HVAC systems may produce.
If it smells off, that may help you determine what might be wrong.
8. Pre-Season Checks
A yearly tune-up and extensive cleaning are beneficial for even the most skilled DIYers. Why?
as a condition of their warranty, practically all HVAC manufacturers want one.
Skipping your annual checkup could cost you dearly if your furnace breaks down in the middle of the winter.
A pre-season check and maintenance should be performed by a local HVAC service company if you truly want to ensure that your furnace will operate safely and dependably during the winter.
Therefore, be ready and schedule an inspection before it gets too chilly.
Hint: If you engage them as part of a yearly furnace maintenance contract, you’ll save money on the pre-season inspections. In addition, most businesses provide premium service at a reduced cost in the event of an unexpected breakdown.
Quick Tip: Inform your HVAC technician
If you experience any problems with your furnace, heating system, or air conditioning, and be sure to maintain records.
Keep all of the receipts from past visits from the HVAC specialist, and keep everything else close to your furnace.
By helping to tell the current service technician of past issues, you could save hundreds of dollars on repairs in the future.
9. Is my furnace older than I am?
It could be time to get prices on a new furnace if you look at your heating system and it seems like it could sell for a lot of money on Antique Roadshow.
It will help you feel confident that you are getting a fair deal if you obtain at least three quotations, all of which will be comparable.
Final Maintenance Advice for Furnaces
For the upcoming chilly months, are you prepared? Before the first cold snap hits, there are a few things every homeowner should do.
At the very least, you should check your thermostat, turn on the furnace a few times, and change your filter for the season. You may have more serious issues if your furnace won’t start.
These upkeep duties are really the bare minimum.
Maintenance on your furnaces, such as cleaning the blower, ducts, and burners, keeps furnace catastrophes from jeopardizing your safety and your finances when winter finally arrives.
If your HVAC system is quite new, it also safeguards your warranty.
Use this advice right away. When everyone decides to call the nearby HVAC service provider at once since the weather is about to change, it won’t be long before the procrastinators gather together.
Are you prepared to arrange a furnace tune-up for the winter?
For assistance with the comfort of your house from an HVAC expert, get in touch with BJC Plumbers Jersey City.
Visit our page on furnace services for more details or to request a free estimate in your neighborhood.
Get the best guidance possible the first time to make the most of your money.
Please let us know by sharing this post if you enjoyed it. View our post on when to call a service professional as well.
Happy winter and have a cozy winter, everyone!