With cooler temperatures arriving, now is a good time to think about furnace maintenance. Whether you have an oil-burning furnace or a high efficiency natural gas model, it needs to be cleaned and serviced at least once a year.
Take care of this task before the cold sets in and your furnace is called into active duty.
What Can You Do?
There are a few things you can handle on your own, before calling a qualified service technician.
The furnace filter should be changed three to four times a year. Now is a good time to schedule that change, especially if the filter has been left in since last winter. Buy the best quality filter you can afford, as the more impurities and dust the filter removes, the better your air quality is and the healthier your family will be.
Reusable or washable furnace filters are a wise investment as they can be cleaned and put back in a number of times without the need to have new filters on hand. Good quality disposable ones are just fine and come in packs for better economy and convenience.
Now is also a good time to remove the register covers around your home and vacuum out the openings. Go down the duct work as far as your vacuum hose will allow and use a brush attachment to clean in the crevices and corners of the duct.
Also, if you had any of the dampers or registers closed over the summer, open them now. Furnace technicians recommend that you keep at least 80 per cent of the vents open in your house over the heating season. Otherwise you may create high resistance and cause a heat build up in the furnace.
What Should You Leave to the Professional?
It's important to have your furnace looked at by a trained professional once a year. This mechanical system heats your entire house all winter, providing ideal operating conditions for the other systems within your home and keeping your family safe and sound. It also emits carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas. When those emissions are not handled properly, there is the potential for a fatal accident to occur.
It only makes sense to spend around $100 annually to make sure this important system is running at peak performance.
The technician will have a list of components that will need to be checked, tested and inspected for wear and tear, proper operation and safety limits.
He/she will look at the:
- Combustion chamber - In an oil-burning unit this chamber will be scrubbed clean using special equipment to remove soot.
- Flue pipe - For both oil and natural gas, the flue will be inspected and any leaks, cracks and issues will be looked after immediately. Corroded pipe will need to be replaced right away.
- Oil Filter - On oil-burning models only, this filter will be changed during an annual service.
- Burner and Efficiency - Using a combustion analyzer, the technician will test your system, including the flame shape and color, and adjust the burner's air gates.
- Blower Belt - This essential part of the fan in your furnace will be checked for wear and tension.
Complete the tasks you can do and book your essential fall furnace maintenance appointment today. Make sure your home and family will be warm and safe this winter with a well cleaned, fully serviced furnace.Posted by: TrustedPros