You should absolutely make sure that your heating system is ready when winter is approaching, regardless of where you reside, because winter is right around the corner.
Furnaces continue to be the most common type of residential heating equipment used across the majority of Canada and in a sizeable chunk of the United States.
The majority of us don't switch on our furnaces until at least October, which means that they've been turned off for nearly half a year (assuming you're fortunate enough to live in an area where the weather is mild).
It is imperative to do routine maintenance on the furnace prior to the arrival of the chilly air by going through some essential maintenance guidelines.
By performing these chores, you can ensure that not only is your furnace operating at its optimum level but that it is operating at all.
The following is a list of the top nine most important actions that everyone should complete as part of their normal furnace maintenance at least once a year, preferably before the heating season begins.
1. Ensure that all of Your Filters, Ducts and Vents Are Cleaned
When it comes to the transfer of heat, having adequate ventilation is really necessary.
You should clean your vents and replace your air filter at least twice a year, but this task takes on an even greater degree of importance during the winter when you are likely to use your HVAC system more frequently.
Now, if you want pristine air, you have a huge selection of air filters and air cleaning systems from which to pick and choose.
But that is the subject of a completely different piece, and if you are interested in reading more about the quality of the air inside your home and the filter that you use, you can do so here.
The procedure of cleaning your ducts and vents is a time-consuming one.
In order to remove the vents, you are going to need your vacuum cleaner and its hose (preferably, a shop vac), in addition to a brush, some microfiber cloths, and a screwdriver.
Before you begin, you will need to protect your registers by covering them with paper towels or cleaning cloths.
Dust is blown out of your registers, and if it is not removed, it will eventually find its way into your home.
The next step is to turn off the heat supply but leave the power on. This is because you will be using the fan to blow dust out of the furnace and vents and into your supply register after the heat supply has been turned off.
After turning off the fan, clean the supply registers by using a vacuum or a brush to remove the debris that has accumulated there.
If you do not have access to a long hose attachment, you can reach into the pipe system using a long broomstick instead.
After that, you may take out the air registers and clean the dust that has accumulated in those as well.
You can now make your way into your primary ducts if you start here.
Stop the fan and the flow of power to your entire system by turning them off. To accomplish this task, you won't be able to use a standard household vacuum cleaner because it lacks the suction power of a commercial shop vacuum.
Because this is likely the phase of the process that will be the most difficult and messy for you, you may discover that hiring a professional is advantageous. While you're about it, make sure the exhaust flue is checked up as well.
When you are through cleaning up, you may then switch out the dirty air filter for a clean one. You can now move on to the next step of cleaning the other parts of your heating system.
2. Is it just me, or does this room have a chilly breeze?
Not all houses are made the same, and older ones, especially, can sometimes have a number of spots that are drafty. You should look around your house for places that let drafts in and then do all you can to fix the problem...
Each and every small bit of heat that you let out is the same as throwing cash away. If you have ancient doors or windows that aren't working properly, now might be the time to get them fixed.
3. Give Your Heat Exchanger a Good Cleaning
Your furnace's heat exchanger is an essential component since it warms the air that is then utilized in the process of producing heat for your home.
In addition, it should be cleaned at least once a year to get rid of dirt and grime and ensure that it continues to perform correctly.
In order to clean your heat exchanger, you must first turn off your system and make sure that the gas is also turned off, if necessary.
Then, get a brush and clean the exchanger block of any dirt or debris that you find there.
In the event that it is essential, use a cloth that is moist to remove any hardened accumulation. To finish, a narrow vacuum attachment should be utilized to thoroughly clean each chamber included within the block assembly.
If your system is more than a few years old, you should probably have it cleaned by a professional. A specialist in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) will be able to access all of the relevant parts and check for a cracked heat exchanger.
Leaks of carbon monoxide are extremely hazardous, and they can be caused by damage to the heat exchanger in your furnace.
4. Conduct a Safety Inspection of Your Blower Motor and Fan
Dust can prevent your blower motor from operating properly, which is a problem because it is responsible for circulating the air into the vents.
At the same time that you clean the heat exchanger, you should also clean the inside of the blower motor (while the system is completely off).
To clean the blower, you must first remove the door to the blower.
However, safety should always come first, so before you perform any DIY maintenance on your furnace, make sure that it is turned off by cutting off the fuel supply and the electrical power to it. At the main gas valve, you should turn off the supply of gas.
It's possible that you'll also need to take off the switch that controls the fan. After that, remove the fan from the cabinet by using a screwdriver; however, be careful not to damage either your fingers or the wire.
It is important not to damage the wire that is located along the cabinet borders.
First, clean the cabinet with the vacuum hose, and then clean the blower wheel and motor using either a toothbrush or a paintbrush.
After giving the blower motor a good cleaning, you might find that it needs to be lubricated. Check the owner's manual for your furnace to determine whether or not this step is required.
After that, you should clean the caps that are affixed to the blower bearings before removing the bearings in order to lubricate them.
5. Perform a thorough inspection of your thermostat.
Imagine having to call in a heating contractor and paying them $150 just to switch your thermostat from cooling to heating...
It occurs more frequently than you might imagine, so verify your t-stat and ensure that it is set correctly.
Is there even any heat coming from your thermostat? Right now is the moment to discover the answer.
After you have cleaned your furnace with a vacuum and replaced all of the components, you can turn it back on (and restore the gas if necessary). Increase the temperature by going to the thermostat in your home and turning it up.
If the thermostat is working properly, the heat will begin to circulate in approximately a minute. If you don't hear the furnace turning on, there's a good chance there's an issue with the thermostat itself.
To begin, take off the cover, and then verify all of your connections. It is expected that all of the wire connections will be in place.
If you don't already know how to do this, you should look up instructions on Google or YouTube. (If you don't feel up to the task, you can always hire a specialist or an electrician to take care of it for you.)
After cleaning, if the cables appear to be in good shape, check again to ensure that you turned on the power supply.
If it continues to be inoperable, you will require the assistance of a qualified HVAC technician.
The offending component might be any one of a number of others as well, such as your blower, heat pump, or furnace fan. It's also possible that the thermostat is broken.
A trained expert may examine each component and determine which one is at fault.
Even while carbon monoxide and smoke detectors can be very unpleasant with their nonstop beeping, there is a good reason for them to behave in this manner: their batteries are running low, and they want you to change them.
Consequently, you should put away your money and replace the batteries in order to safeguard not only yourself but also your family and your property.
7. Why does my heating system have a musty odor?
If you switch on your heating system for the very first time, you can get a whiff of something burning...
In all likelihood, the scent is caused by the dust that has been burned off by your heat exchanger; but, if it continues, you should be sure to take the appropriate preventative measures.
Paints and chemicals should not be kept in the same room as your furnace if at all possible. Even though you might not be able to smell the fumes, the heat exchanger in your furnace could still be damaged if they were there.
Not only can this result in pricey repairs, but it can also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Maintain a tidy and clear space in your furnace room.
It's possible that smells coming from your furnace are the same as those emanating from your air conditioner when they malfunction.
Check out this page for more information on the scents that are most likely to emanate from your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
If something doesn't smell quite right, this may give you some clues as to what might be the problem.
8. Pre-Season Audits and Checkups
Even the most experienced do-it-yourselfers might benefit from having their projects professionally maintained at least once a year. Why?
Because virtually all HVAC equipment manufacturers include this requirement as a component of their warranty.
If your furnace breaks down in the middle of winter because you skipped its annual check-up, you could be in for some major trouble.
You should contact local heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) service provider to complete a pre-season inspection and maintenance check on your furnace if you want to make absolutely certain that it will operate securely and dependably all through the winter.
Therefore, take precautions and schedule a checkup before the temperature drops too low.
A helpful hint is that if you engage them under an annual furnace maintenance agreement, you will get a better bargain on the pre-season inspections. Additionally, the majority of firms offer premium service at a discounted fee in the event that there is an unscheduled breakdown.
A Handy Hint: Make Sure Your HVAC Technician Is Always Informed
Be sure to keep a record of any problems that you may experience with your heating system, whether it be your furnace or your air conditioning unit.
Hold on to all of the receipts from the trips that your HVAC expert has made in the past, and put all of this paperwork close to your heater...
Assisting in providing the current service specialist with information regarding previous issues, it could help you save hundreds of dollars on future repairs.
9. Would you say that my Furnace appears to be older than I am?
If after taking a look at your heating system you think it would be worth a nice fortune on Antique Roadshow, then it is probably time to start shopping around for a new furnace and compare prices.
Make it a point to get at least three estimates; even if they will all be comparable, this will provide you the peace of mind that comes from knowing you're receiving a good price.
Final Furnace Maintenance Tips
Are you prepared for the chilly months that are to come? Before the first chilly front hits, there are a few things that every homeowner should take care of.
At the very least, you need to make sure that your thermostat is working properly, run the heating system at least once, and change the filter before each new season. If your furnace won't turn on, you may have a more serious issue on your hands.
However, these maintenance responsibilities are the minimal minimum that must be completed.
When winter arrives for good, failing to do routine maintenance on your furnace, such as cleaning the blower, ducts, and burners can lead to catastrophic failures that put your family's well-being and financial security at risk.
Additionally, if your HVAC system is still very new, this will keep the warranty intact.
Make advantage of these pointers as soon as possible. It won't be long until the weather changes, and when it does, all of the people who have been putting off calling the local HVAC service company will gather together and make the decision to do so at the same time.
Are you prepared to schedule a tune-up for your furnace before the winter season?
When you are in need of assistance from a qualified HVAC technician for your house, CBJ Plumbing Union City NJ is the company to call.
Check out the information and resources available on our page devoted to Furnace Services to obtain a cost estimate free of charge in your service region.
Spend your money wisely and seek the assistance of a qualified specialist the very first time you need it.
If you thought this post was helpful, please let us know by spreading the word about it. Check read our article on when you ought to get in touch with a service specialist as well.
I hope you have a wonderful winter and that you stay warm and cozy!
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