As the weather starts to cool down, you’ll want to ensure your furnace is in good working order. After all, there’s nothing worse than being cold in your own home. Not only does your home furnace keep you warm during colder months, but it also helps to maintain a comfortable and healthy indoor environment.
Here are a few steps you can take to keep your furnace running smoothly:
Change the Air Filter Regularly – At Least Every 3 Months
A dirty filter restricts airflow and causes your furnace to work extra hard than it needs to. For best results, change your filter at least every three months. If you have pets or live in a dusty area, you may need to change your filter more frequently as it can quickly become clogged. Changing your furnace filter is one of the simplest jobs you can do yourself.
If you’re unsure how to change your air filter, check the owner’s manual for your furnace or contact a professional heating and cooling technician specializing in furnace tune-ups in your area. By changing your air filter regularly, you can help prolong the life of your furnace and improve its efficiency while also protecting your indoor air quality.
Inspect the Furnace for Any Cracks or Leaks
Over time, furnaces can develop cracks or leaks. If you notice any cracks or leaks, it’s important to have them repaired as soon as possible as they can cause serious safety hazards. A cracked heat exchanger can start leaking carbon monoxide inside your home, which can be dangerous for you and your family. Leaks also mean your furnace is losing heat, leading to higher energy bills.
To check for any cracks or leaks, look for specific signs like soot around the furnace, water stains on the ceiling or floor near the furnace, or strange noises coming from the furnace. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to call a professional heating and cooling technician immediately to have your furnace inspected and repaired.
Keep the Area Around the Furnace Clean and Free of Debris
Whether you have a traditional furnace or a newer model, it’s essential to keep it clean. Dust and dirt can build up over time, causing your furnace to work less efficiently. Regularly vacuum the area around the furnace to remove dust and debris. Also, ensure the area around the furnace is well-ventilated. This will help prevent any safety hazards due to a build-up of fumes or heat.
Once a year, hire a professional to clean your furnace and the surrounding area. They will have the proper equipment and knowledge to clean your furnace and ensure it’s running smoothly safely. Remember that you want a furnace that will last you for many years to come, so it’s important to take preventative steps to keep it running efficiently.
Ensure the Blower Motor is Functioning Correctly
The blower motor circulates filtered air through the furnace and into your home. If the blower motor isn’t working properly, your furnace won’t be able to heat your home effectively. To test whether the blower motor is working correctly, ensure that the power to the furnace is turned off. Then, remove the access panel to the blower motor and use a multimeter to test the continuity of the motor. If there is no continuity, then the blower motor will need to be replaced.
The blower motor also needs regular oiling to keep it running smoothly. Simply add a few drops of lubrication oil to the motor as advised by your maintenance technician or the manufacturer’s guide. This should be done just before every heating season starts, at least once a year. Avoid over-oiling the furnace motor as this can cause damage. If the blower motor is working properly, but the furnace still isn’t heating your home effectively, replace the furnace filter.
Monitor the Thermostat to Ensure It’s Working Properly
During the winter months, you’ll probably be adjusting your thermostat regularly. But it’s important not to set it too low. Doing so can put unnecessary strain on your furnace. Aim for a temperature that’s comfortable for you but won’t cause your furnace to work overtime. A malfunctioning thermostat can also cause your furnace to overwork itself and use more energy than necessary.
Check that the batteries are replaced if needed and that the thermostat is set to the correct temperature. It might be time to upgrade your thermostat to a newer model if you have an older furnace. Smart thermostats are a great option as they can help you save money on your energy bills. Some models even allow you to control the temperature of your home remotely.
Schedule Annual Maintenance Checks With a Professional
Finally, don’t forget to schedule annual maintenance checks with a professional. They will be able to inspect your furnace and make any necessary repairs. Regular maintenance and preventative care are key to prolonging the life of your furnace and ensuring that it runs when you need it most.