Winter is quickly approaching. This is the ideal time to have your furnace inspected, tuned up, and repaired. The last thing you need is for your heating system to give out in the dead of winter. There are a few things you can do on your own to get your furnace ready for those low temperatures.
Clean up Around the Furnace
Most people keep other items in the room or space where their furnace is located. In some instances, the furnace is laden with stored items as it has not been in operation for months and has ample surface area. Relocate all items that are placed on or by the furnace. Give the surrounding space a thorough cleaning. Be sure to vacuum the exterior of the furnace to eliminate cobwebs and dirt. Finally, check to ensure the furnace is completely visible. The pilot light should be seen with ease.
Replace/Clean the Filter
Your furnace filter collects all the dirt, dust, and grime when air intake occurs. The filter should be cleaned prior to the start of winter. Ideally, the furnace filter should be cleaned once per month. If you find that the filter is clogged and in poor condition, replace it. A clogged and/or worn out filter will result in a high energy bill because it will require your furnace to work that much harder and longer to warm your living space.
Mind the Burners and Heating Vents
If the furnace burners are obstructed, they will prevent the proper flow of gas and lead to the release of carbon monoxide when the system is turned on. Make sure the burners are clean and do not have obstructions, like debris or dust, blocking them. Check the heating vents as well to ensure they are not obstructed. If heating vents are blocked, warm air won't spread throughout your home. It is even possible for blocked heating vents to overheat to the point that a fire forms.
If your furnace is old, it has plenty of moving parts that function with the assistance of bearings. These bearings must be oiled. If they lack lubrication, they will eventually wear out and the furnace will not function at optimal efficiency. A lack of bearing lubrication can also lead to costly repairs. Pinpoint the oil caps above the bearing shaft and apply oil.
Check the Blower Doors
If the furnace's blower doors are not tightly shut, harmful heating byproducts like carbon monoxide might mix with the warm air that circulates throughout your living space. Make sure the blower doors are firmly closed prior to operating your furnace in the winter.
Mind the Fan Belt
The fan belt is a vitally important component of the furnace. Make sure it has tension and doesn't have obvious signs of wear and tear. If the belt is too loose, the furnace will require an excessive amount of time to heat your home. Loose belts also cause the furnace to use more power/gas than necessary. Go ahead and unscrew the cover of the air handler, find the large rubber fan belt and check its integrity. If the belt is frayed, cracked, or compromised in any other manner, it must be replaced. If you do not feel comfortable conducting such an inspection, reach out to our team so we can do it for you.
Lastly, be proactive by reaching out to our team for a furnace tune-up and inspection now and you will dramatically reduce the odds of malfunction throughout the winter.