The colder weather will be here before we know it and now is the best time for basic furnace cleaning and maintenance. You can avoid a crisis and paying a lot of money in the event of a problem or a total breakdown. Along with that you can avoid the inconvenience that comes along with having zero heat in your home on the coldest day. Regular maintenance can also extend the life of your heating system and allow it to work at maximum energy efficiency. Keep your heating system running through the cold season by taking a little bit of time to follow a few steps.
Fall Heater Maintenance
1. Combustion chamber. Before you start anything, you need to cut the power and the fuel supply to the heating system. Turn the switch off on the unit and locate the fuel shutoff valve. You then need to take the door off the combustion chamber and vacuum the inside of it. Look for any holes that have been caused by corrosion and cover them with foil tape.
2. Blower compartment. The door to the blower compartment also needs to be removed and the interior needs to be vacuumed out just like you did with the combustion chamber. You also need to look for holes and cover them with foil tape before you put the door back on. Inspect the exhaust flue and look at all the ductwork along with return air ducts. If your find holes, you need to fix them.
3. Motor bearings. Older furnaces have two motor bearings and two blower-shaft bearings. These all need to be oiled at least once a year. Take the caps off the bearings with a cloth and apply a few drops of lightweight machine oil to each bearing. Make sure you don’t apply too much and then replace the caps in the original positions.
4. Furnace filter. Filters in your furnace are there to trap dirt, dust and other airborne particles before they get into the furnace. These particles can be damaging to the components of the furnace. Filters should be changed everyone to three months. Most of the air in our homes circulate through the HVAC system so it’s important to monitor filters. Consider spending a little more on furnace filters to protect the appliance itself and improve the air quality in your home and make sure the filter you use traps bacteria, pollen, mildew and mold spores.
When to Call Professional Heating Contractors
Most furnace maintenance can be done by homeowners but there are times it’s best to contact professionals. If the furnace is making noises that you haven’t heard before and you just can’t figure out what the problem is then you should call for help. If you found excessive soot when you were cleaning the combustion chamber you need help. This is an indication that the burners need adjustments or you need a new heat exchanger. If you found that the pilot light is yellow instead of blue is an indication that the burners are dirty of the heat exchanger is cracked. If you found that your furnace runs for a while and then just shuts off without warning, it’s a sign that the thermostat is having issues or the exchanger is overheating.