Perform furnace maintenance to keep your home comfortable and warm in the Fall and Winter seasons. Every time you adjust the thermostat manually, or the temperature falls below a certain point in your house, a message is sent to the furnace. It is alerted that you or your loved ones may be chilly at this temperature! After being told that the temperature in your home is low, your furnace automatically kicks on.
Along with your comfort and wellbeing, your home’s temperature is important for many other reasons. This directly relates to the condition of your furnace. It’s fine to keep your house cooler than usual when no one is home, but when it gets too cold, a multitude of problems can arise. Your pipes can freeze, which can lead them to burst, causing flooding. Flooding and freezing can cause damage to your homes interior and foundation. Because cooler weather comes with the fall season, maintaining your equipment is extremely important. Here is how you can make sure your furnace is working properly this fall.
What to Expect When you Perform Furnace Maintenance
You should always try to service your furnace before the weather gets really cold. An annual checkup is highly recommended, especially at this time of year when the chilly air begins to set in. Without this scheduled maintenance, room for error increases. Your furnace may not be as clean as it should be, or it may no longer be up to code. Either issue or a combination of both, can cause your system to malfunction or stop working completely. Improper functionality increases the likelihood of a carbon monoxide leak as well.
As a homeowner, you never want to be put into this situation. When you contact a local HVAC professional to inspect and service your furnace this fall, here’s what you can expect them to do:
1. Temporarily shutting down your system
Before a professional can assess any issues that your furnace may be experiencing, they should shut the system off completely. This is done by simply switching off the electrical power and fuel supply. The electrical switch is typically located along the cellar entrance or near the equipment itself. The switch is always red, helping to indicate its location and purpose. The fuel switch will be on the furnace or a connecting pipe.
The combustion chamber of a furnace is often the area that gets the dirtiest or has the most build up. Fuel mixes with air in this chamber, igniting and generating heat. A professional will scoop or brush out any build-up or debris that may have accumulated, as well as check for any internal damage.
3. Flue pipe inspection
This pipe is responsible for the exhaust of your furnace. Because a problem in this area could lead to a carbon monoxide leak, it should be inspected for any holes or wear and tear. Small holes may be patched, but anything sizable will mean that the flue pipe will need to be replaced.
4. Oil and air filter replacement
An oil filter will only be found in an oil-powered furnace. If your home has such a system, changing out the filter is necessary to prevent clogs. Air filters for other furnace types are equally as important. When it’s cold out, it’s unlikely that your windows will be open. This means that there is a lack of fresh air and that the air that you are breathing in is coming from your furnace. This air passes through a filter on its way to your vents, so it’s important that it’s changed regularly. This is something that is relatively simple and can be done on your own as often as you like.
5. Testing efficiency
Testing a furnace’s efficiency is done by measuring the gas output in the exhaust flue. There should always be a proper balance between the fuel and air. Another thing a professional will inspect is the flame of the igniter. Whether you have an oil or gas furnace, the size and color of the flame are important.
6. Vent cleaning
Vents should be cleaned once or twice a year, but it’s especially important to clean them in the fall. When you turn on your heat, the air will force small debris into the air of your home. Hair, dust, pet dander; anything can slip into the vents. By removing the cover on your floor or wall, you can simply vacuum them as needed.
No matter what type of furnace you have, fall is the best season to ensure that it’s working properly. Now that you know all the ways you and your home will benefit, perform furnace maintenance now! What are you waiting for? Call a local HVAC professional to help make sure that your furnace is properly working for the cold weather this season. If your furnace does have issues, we can even help you replace your old furnace with a newer model and keep your home comfortable and warm!
Call Lighten Up Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric today to perform furnace maintenance!