Furnace Maintenance Tips
Updated: May 4
Keeping your furnace in working condition requires regular maintenance. Following are several things that are easy to do yourself.
The first step in furnace maintenance is giving the equipment a good once over. There should be no visual damage and all venting pipes and tubes should be connected securely. Another thing to watch out for is the smell of rotten eggs, which is the sign of a gas leak.
Furnace air filters need to be replaced on a regular basis. If not, airflow will be restricted. When that happens, the system has to work harder. A clean air filter affects the efficiency and longevity of the furnace. A good rule of thumb is to replace your furnace air filter once every 1-3 months.
If you have a gas furnace there should be a carbon monoxide (CO) detector nearby. The CO detector should be tested and the batteries replaced every six months just as you would do for smoke detectors.
Keep the registers in your home clear. When a piece of furniture blocks a register vent or it’s closed, the hot air isn’t going to be distributed evenly around the house. This might cause you to turn the heat up making the furnace work harder.
Check the pilot light. If your furnace has a pilot light look to see if the flame is bright blue. A flame of any other color is an indicator something is off and should be inspected by a professional.
If your home has a fresh air intake, make sure you clean the outside lint trap.
It is also a good idea to clean around the furnace. Dust off the furnace exterior and use a vacuum to remove dirt, debris, and dust in the surrounding area. The internal components can also be cleaned with a soft-bristle paintbrush. Be very gentle because it’s easy to damage the sensitive components inside.
An annual service from a professional is always recommended. The technician can look at every component from the inside out, including the ductwork, wiring, and other electrical elements. Consider this to be a preventative measure that can catch mechanical problems before they become a real issue.