How Do I Service My Furnace for the Winter?edit
As the winter season approaches, it’s important to ensure that your furnace is working efficiently and reliably. After all, a well-maintained furnace not only keeps you warm and comfortable during the cold winter months but is also more energy-efficient and cost-effective. This is why performing regular furnace maintenance on your heating system and scheduling a professional tune-up each year is crucial to keep your furnace working properly.
To help homeowners keep their furnaces running smoothly throughout the winter, here are some tips and information on how to service your furnace.
Perform DIY Furnace Maintenance Regularly
The first step to ensuring your heating system is running smoothly is to perform basic DIY furnace maintenance tasks as part of your regular routine. Here are some simple furnace maintenance tasks that homeowners should perform throughout the year.
Replace the Furnace Filter
A dirty air filter is the most common reason for furnace problems. When the air filter is clogged, it can restrict airflow, put extra strain on your furnace, and reduce energy efficiency. Therefore, it’s important to replace your furnace filter regularly. Typically, you’ll need a new air filter every one to three months. This will make sure your furnace is running with clean air and can perform efficiently.
Check the Thermostat
Your thermostat controls your furnace’s operation, so it’s important to ensure it’s working correctly. Check your thermostat’s batteries and settings regularly. As the heating season starts, adjust preprogrammed schedules so your HVAC system runs efficiently. If you have an older mechanical thermostat, consider upgrading to a programmable model for added efficiency and flexibility.
Clean Vents and Ducts
Dirty vents and grilles on return air ducts can reduce the efficiency of your furnace and even decrease your indoor air quality. Clean them regularly, especially before the winter heating season starts, to make sure your furnace components aren’t burdened with additional contaminants settling within the HVAC system.
Over time, debris and dust can accumulate around the outside of your furnace, leading to a reduction in airflow and heat transfer. This build-up can also create a fire hazard and negatively impact the furnace’s performance. Cleaning the furnace’s exterior can significantly benefit the system’s lifespan, reduce the risk of malfunction, and improve indoor air quality. Homeowners should also take care to keep the area around the furnace clear of any flammable materials or items that could obstruct airflow.
Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors
If you have a gas furnace, you should regularly test your carbon monoxide detectors to prevent the deadly gas from silently seeping into the home. Carbon monoxide (CO) is odorless and colorless, making it difficult to detect without specialized equipment. Regular testing and maintenance can make sure that the detectors are properly functioning and can alert homeowners if dangerous levels of CO are present in the air.
Schedule an Annual Furnace Maintenance Tune Up
While basic furnace maintenance tasks are crucial if you want to keep your heating system in top shape, it’s also essential to hire a professional to perform an annual furnace maintenance inspection and tune up each year. A trained HVAC contractor can perform a more thorough inspection and servicing of your furnace’s key components, including:
- Inspection of the ignition system: Your furnace’s ignition system ensures that it’s starting correctly. A professional tuning will ensure that the pilot light or hot surface igniter is working perfectly.
- Clean the burners: Dirty burners can reduce your furnace’s heating capability and efficiency. A professional cleaning will ensure that the burner assembly is free of grime and dirt.
- Lubrication of components: Your furnace has many moving parts that need lubrication to operate smoothly. During a professional furnace maintenance tune up, a technician will ensure that all the components are lubricated.
- Clean the blower motor: The blower motor collects dust over time, which can decrease the efficiency of the furnace. The technician will clean the blower motor and blower blades to improve the furnace’s performance during a furnace maintenance visit.
- Check the heat exchanger: The technician will inspect the heat exchanger for any cracks or damage, as a cracked heat exchanger could lead to carbon monoxide leaks.
- Test the thermostat: A faulty thermostat can cause problems like inconsistent heating. During furnace maintenance, the technician will check and test the thermostat to ensure it’s working correctly.
By scheduling a professional tune up each year, homeowners can ensure their furnace is running efficiently and safely and can also catch and repair any potential problems before they become emergencies, which will save you money on repairs. Professional furnace maintenance also helps reduce energy costs and helps your home’s HVAC system last longer.
Don’t Skip Regular Maintenance for Your Furnace
Taking care of your furnace is essential to ensure it operates efficiently and safely throughout the winter. Homeowners should perform basic maintenance tasks like replacing air filters, checking the thermostat, and cleaning vents and ducts regularly. Additionally, scheduling an annual inspection and professional tune up is essential to detect and repair any potential problems and maintain your furnace’s efficiency and safety.
If you’re unsure about how to service your furnace or need to schedule an annual furnace maintenance visit, contact Robinson Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. We can help you keep your furnace running smoothly and efficiently throughout the winter season and beyond.