Proper furnace maintenance can reduce energy consumption and increases its life. When furnaces break down and malfunction, there are certainly high costs involved in getting them inspected and repaired. To prevent most major disasters with your furnace, some simple maintenance is in order.
It’s always recommended to inspect your furnace filters at lead once a month. Most disposable filters should be changed monthly; some may last longer than that. Any permanent filters should be washed and rinsed monthly. Make sure to install carbon monoxide detectors on each floor of your home. Test them out on a monthly basis, if you already have them, as carbon monoxide is fatal in large amounts. Carbon monoxide detectors are required by law in 25 states.
Before starting, make sure to turn off the power and fuel supply. If your furnace has a belt-driven component, test the belt for cracks or damage. Replace them if necessary. Belt-driven systems need to be oiled yearly; a few drops of oil should do the trick. Reset the damper as the season changes. The damper should be clearly marked and easy to set in the right place. Dampers in other parts of your home will need re-adjusting throughout the year. Check the burner flames. This is the one occasion where it’s okay to leave the power and fuel supply on to observe the flames. Remove the combustion chamber door and look at the flames; they should be fairly even and blue. If they’re yellow, you’re either breathing on them or there’s something wrong with the burners. Do not adjust the burners yourself. Carefully remove the blower from the furnace. Vacuum carefully and thoroughly; do not jostle any wires too much. If you’re not sure you can get the blower vacuumed well enough, don’t do it. An improper cleaning can unbalance the system.
Full furnace inspections are the one thing you should call in a professional for. This should be done at least once or twice a year.