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Furnace Care And Maintenance Tips From The Pros

Imagine walking into your house only to find it ice cold. You walk over to your furnace and nothing. It doesn’t fire up nor respond in any way. As grim as this scenario might seem to be, it’s quite possible to find yourself in such a situation. Your furnace is critical as it warms the house. You need to maintain your furnace to keep it functional. And guess what, you don’t need to be a technician to carry out the maintenance. Some of the maintenance procedures are basic. So, you don’t have an excuse as to why you can’t maintain your furnace. 

Read on to find out some tips from the pros that will help you maintain your furnace. 

1. Clean The Air Filter Regularly

The air is usually contaminated with dust, pet hair, smoke, and much more. The purpose of the air filter is to trap all these pollutants. Over time, the dust and other particles accumulate and clog the air filter. As a result, the furnace cannot ‘breathe’ well, which might lead to your furnace’s breakdown.

Some filters are made from paper. Others are made from more sturdy materials like plastic or rugged foam. Experts at  filterbuy.com/resources/how-often-do-i-really-need-to-change-my-hvac-filter/ advise you to replace the paper filter once it looks dusty and clogged. For the plastic and rugged foam filters, check and clean them at least once every three months. If you live in a dusty area or near a construction site, you need to check the filters more often.

2. Take Care Of Your Vents Regularly

Your furnace has two vent systems, the intake vents, and the return vents. For the furnace to work well, these vents need to let air pass through uninterrupted. The supply vents are so named because they supply the hot air from the furnace to your home. The return vents, on the other hand, recirculate air to be warmed up by the furnace. 

To ensure your furnace is working to its optimum, clean these vents at least once per year. It’s best to do so at the onset of winter.

3. Maintain An Energy-efficient Home

The aim of maintaining your furnace is to extend its lifespan. If your house is poorly insulated, your furnace will work harder to provide sufficient warmth. And the harder it works, the more it will suffer from tears and wear. To maintain your furnace, ensure your house is well insulated to conserve heat. Heat loss occurs through poorly insulated windows, doors, walls, the attic, and the roof. 

You can use weather stripping for your doors and cling wrap kits to insulate your windows. If you don’t know where to start on your insulation, contact home insulation professionals. Once your house is well insulated, your furnace will not need to work as hard. 

4. Clean Your Furnace Regularly

Apart from cleaning the furnace supply and intake vents, you need to clean the furnace itself. Although it might seem like it’s complicated, you will soon get the hang of it. Similar to the vent, the furnace also collects dust. Dust can cause the furnace to overheat, thus causing a fire. To prevent such an occurrence, clean your:

  • Blower compartment
  • Blower blades
  • Pilot
  • Fire ignitor

If you are not sure how to go about cleaning any of these components, it’s best to call a professional. Don’t attempt to do any cleaning before switching off the furnace.

5. You Need To Be Extra Vigilant When Dealing With A Gas Furnace

Unlike an electric furnace, a gas furnace uses natural or propane gas. Thus, they emit harmful gases like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide, which can be lethal if inhaled. If you haven’t serviced your furnace in a while, it’s possible to have a buildup of these gases.  To prevent this, ensure you clean the exhaust vent. 

You can do so by using a vacuum cleaner. Suction out any debris or dust which might have built up and is clogging the system. Make sure the exhaust pipe is not damaged by conducting regular inspections and if you find small holes in the exhaust, seal them using adhesive or duct tape. If the hole is significant, it’s prudent to call a professional. 

6. Clear The Space Around Your Furnace

For safety purposes, the furnace is usually located either in the basement, a storage room, or crawl space. To ensure your safety, get rid of any flammable objects near the furnace. 

The furnace is a lifesaver, especially during winter. You need to maintain your furnace if you want it to serve you for a long time. Maintaining and taking care of your furnace is not a complicated task. All you need is a little know-how. If you follow the above-stated tips, you will keep a lot of furnace issues at bay.  

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