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During the coldest months of the year, having a furnace that is working properly is vital. If something goes wrong with your furnace, you need to call a repair service right away to fix the problem. However, there are steps you can take to make sure that you experience very few problems with your heating system.
A little DIY maintenance on your furnace reduces the amount of wear and tear that it experiences. In the fall, before the weather begins to turn cool, spend a few hours cleaning and checking your furnace. Not only will this help it run more efficiently, thereby lowering your heating bills, but it will also ensure that you do not experience any problems during a cold snap.
For safety’s safe, you need to switch off both the electrical power and the gas supply to your furnace. This way, you will not be putting yourself or your family at risk. Never work on a furnace while it is on, or while gas is flowing to the appliance.
First, check the furnace filter to see how dirty it is. Most filters need to be changed every two or three months. However, if your furnace runs more frequently, you may have to change the filter more often. Pull out the filter, and if it looks dusty or clogged with dirt, throw it away and replace it with a new one.
The combustion chamber is where fuel and air are mixed and ignited, producing heat. However, this process also produces waste products, such as soot, water vapor, and carbon dioxide. Over time, these will build up on the walls of the chamber. Clean them off with a wire brush and a vacuum cleaner.
Check the exhaust flue for any holes or weak points where carbon monoxide could be leaking into your home. This dangerous gas can be deadly, so you need to make sure that it is being properly vented out of your home. If you see any problems, you may need to have the flue replaced. Installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home will give you advance warning of any problems.
The belt on the blower can become worn or frayed over time, reducing the efficiency of your furnace. Inspect the belt carefully for any signs of wear or damage. If you see any problems, the belt can easily be replaced. You may also need to adjust the positioning of the belt to ensure that it runs at the correct speed.
Cleaning your registers and heating ducts will also help your furnace run more efficiently. Over time, dust and debris can accumulate in your ducts, obstructing the airflow and putting more strain on your furnace. Clean these out, or hire a service to come and do the work for you.
A little preventative maintenance can really pay off and help you avoid any significant issues with your furnace. Spend some time each fall inspecting your furnace and making any repairs that need to be made.