Before you start working on furnaces regularly, it might help to know how they work. A furnace uses gas, oil, or electricity to heat air. The warm air is circulated through ducts, pipes, or wires and then blown into the home through registers.
Modern furnaces are a true technological marvel. The average unit today is significantly more energy efficient than even high-end units used to be two or three decades ago, while also easily lasting 15-20 years and being equipped with various modern features.
However, just like every other complex household system, furnaces need to be given routine tune-ups by qualified technicians. So how frequently should you have your furnace serviced, and what's included in this service?
Like your car and HVAC unit, maintenance work is good practice. Routine furnace maintenance can help you catch small problems before they become big ones, saving customers money, and keeping them safe.
As a general rule, a furnace should receive a professional tune-up once a year. Optimally, this maintenance service should be scheduled sometime during fall or early winter. Doing so ensures your heating system will be ready for the heating season.
Taking care of your heating system is important to getting the most out of it. You can extend the life of the entire unit and get more comfort out of it when you take care of the maintenance. Here are a few maintenance tips to help you keep your heating system up and running during those cold winter months.
Make sure that you are regularly changing or cleaning the filters in your heating system. These are how your heater gets the air it needs to keep you warm. If the filters are clogged up they can’t do their job properly. The heater systems will have to work harder than they should to do the same job. Clean out your filters if they are reusable. If they are not then be sure to buy a new one and replace it regularly once a month. Some filters are good for longer so just check your filters limits.
Clean Your Heater
Most of your furnaces or boilers can be easily cleaned routinely. This cleaning will help your machine work properly and more efficiently. You can learn online how to clean it or talk with your technician. This is simple to do and can help you get the most out of the heating system you have.
Clear Out Debris
Take time to go outside around your unit and clean away any debris. There could be leaves, limbs and other items that gather around your outside unit. It can cause problems with your unit getting air into the unit to heat your home.
Furnace Maintenance Benefits:
- Prevent Breakdowns: Seasonal furnace check ups can ensure customers systems don’t break down unexpectedly on a freezing winter night requiring emergency service.
- Save Energy: Regular furnace maintenance can save homeowners as much as 10 percent on their yearly heating costs.
- Just cleaning furnace filters can reduce utility bills by 5 to 15 percent per month.
- Catch Deadly Leaks: During a gas furnace inspection, you could identify carbon monoxide leaks before they become dangerous. Did you know that 400 Americans die every year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning?
- As an HVAC technician, you could not only keep your customers comfortable but also safe.
What is routine maintenance on a furnace?
Furnace maintenance consists of two main tasks: inspection and cleaning. By thoroughly examining individual components and removing dirt, dust, and debris buildup, your HVAC expert will find and resolve any issues before they can seriously impact your heating system and make sure it operates at peak efficiency.
During routine maintenance, your HVAC technician will:
- Lubricate motor bearings and other mechanical components
- Inspect and (if necessary) adjust fan belt tension
- Examine the heat anticipator settings
- Check the voltage and current
- Make sure the electrical connections are properly tightened
- Assess the condensate drain line and clear it (if necessary).
- Clean the furnace inside and out
- Check the air filters and replace or wash them as needed
- Test carbon monoxide levels
- Examine and calibrate the thermostat
- Assess and test the exhaust system
- Examine and clean the burner
- Vacuum the combustion chamber
- Clean pilot assembly, pilot orifice, and the sensor
- Check gas pressure
- Inspect oil or gas line connections
- Examine and test the system controls
- Assess the heat exchangers
- Check and (if necessary) adjust the gas pressure
- Test the ignition system
- Assess the blower motor and wheel for significant dust buildup
- Check the flame signal
- If needed, replace the thermocouple
Check condensate pump
We are a family-owned company specializing in commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) services. We have been providing unparalleled service and value to the western Washington region since 1999.
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Call us to find out how we can increase your energy efficiency, extend the life of your equipment, and save you money.