Inspecting your furnace is one of the most important things you can do before winter sets in. A poorly maintained furnace will increase your heating costs and can lead to expensive repairs down the road.
Thankfully, electric and gas furnace maintenance is easier than ever before. Follow these tips on furnace maintenance to make sure you’re ready for winter.
Basic Furnace Maintenance Safety
Before you ever open up your furnace you should make sure you’re comfortable. Both gas and electric furnaces require know-how and the following of proper safety measures.
If you’re working on an electric furnace you should look for the disconnect/service switch. In most cases, it will be right next to the furnace but you may have to go to your circuit breaker. Make sure it’s switched to the off position before you start inspecting your furnace.
A gas furnace is trickier. There will be a gas disconnect valve near the furnace but you don’t want to turn this off except in cases of emergency. Once the pilot light on your furnace goes off you should have it relit by a professional.
Remember, if you aren’t comfortable working with a furnace you can always contact a professional to do your furnace inspection and maintenance.
Check Your Filter
The most important part of regular furnace maintenance is to check your filter. The air filter on your furnace is what removes all the dust, dander, and other pollutants from your home’s air. It’s also one of the best ways to remove humidity from your home.
Check your manufacturers manual and find out if you have a replaceable or washable filter. Depending on what variety it is you’ll need to follow a different maintenance regimen. Washable filters can save you money, but it can be difficult to completely clean them.
It’s a good idea to clean or replace your filter at least every 90 days. If you have pets, smoke, or have respiratory issues you should replace it even more frequently.
During the winter months, your furnace will probably run every day. It’s a good idea to replace it once a month then.
Check The Belts
Most furnaces use belts to turn the main blower which moves air throughout your home. If one of these breaks, your furnace might stop working during the coldest months of winter.
Make sure you inspect it regularly. It’s not a bad idea to check it out whenever you change your filter. You want to look for tears, frays, or any cracks. It’s a good idea to go ahead and replace it if you see any sign of damage.
It’s always better to head off a major repair with minor maintenance. Learn more basic furnace maintenance tips to make sure your furnace works throughout the winter.
Performing regular furnace maintenance is the best way to avoid unnecessary repairs. It has the added benefit of improving the circulation and air quality in your home. Take steps now to avoid a problem later on.
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