A furnace is a big investment, so you want your furnace to have a long life and rarely need repairs. One way to honor your investment is by having regular furnace maintenance done by HVAC contractors and taking care of your furnace between visits. Here are some tips for taking good care of your furnace.
Hire Yearly Professional Maintenance
It's good to have your furnace checked by a professional every fall before you first turn the furnace on for the season. A professional will clean the furnace and check it for combustion problems that could present a danger to your family. If minor repairs are needed, those are completed before they turn into bigger problems. If your furnace shares an air handler with the central air conditioner, then you should have professional maintenance twice a year. A good time for the second visit is after the heating season is over and before the cooling season begins.
Vacuum the Registers
The registers and vents collect a lot of dust that circulates through the air. If your registers are on the floor, they can collect all kinds of things including toys and dirt. Remove the grilles and wash them occasionally. Use the vacuum wand to pull dirt and dust from the opening of the registers so they don't block airflow or keep circulating dust through your home. Also, be sure the registers are not blocked. Don't move furniture over a floor register or that will interfere with the heating of your home and cause your furnace to run longer to meet the thermostat setting.
Test the Carbon Monoxide Alarm
If your furnace develops combustion problems or if the heat exchanger or flue develops a leak, carbon monoxide might seep into your home. If your alarm is functioning properly, you'll be alerted to the problem. It's important to put fresh batteries in the alarm at the start of the heating season and then check the alarm once a month to ensure it is working properly.
Clean Around the Furnace
The furnace should have plenty of airflow and ventilation, so don't stack boxes near the furnace. It's also good to clean the area regularly to get rid of dust that could be pulled into the furnace. Keeping dust out of the furnace not only keeps the air in your home cleaner and helps keep the filter cleaner, but it can also protect your furnace from damage. A furnace coated with dust can overheat and break down, and that's the last problem you want when it's cold outside.