A furnace is a vital component of your home’s heating system, but it can also be a source of problems if not properly maintained. A poorly functioning furnace can waste energy, reduce comfort, and even pose safety hazards. To avoid these issues, you should follow a regular furnace maintenance schedule that includes the following steps:
Check and replace the air filter
The air filter is responsible for removing dust, dirt, and other contaminants from the air that enters your furnace. A dirty or clogged filter can reduce airflow, lower efficiency, and cause overheating. You should check the filter every month and replace it when it is visibly dirty or at least every three months.
Clean the blower and fan blades
The blower and fan blades are the parts that circulate the heated air throughout your home. Over time, they can accumulate dust and debris that can affect their performance and cause noise. You should clean them with a soft brush or vacuum attachment at least once a year or more often if you notice signs of dirt buildup.
Inspect the burner and flame sensor
The burner and flame sensor are the parts that ignite and monitor the fuel in your furnace. A dirty or malfunctioning burner can produce incomplete combustion, resulting in carbon monoxide emissions and reduced efficiency. A faulty flame sensor can cause the furnace to shut off prematurely or not at all, creating safety risks. You should inspect the burner and flame sensor for signs of damage, corrosion, or soot buildup and clean them with a soft cloth or brush if needed. If you notice any cracks, leaks, or irregular flames, you should contact a professional technician for repairs.
Lubricate the moving parts
The moving parts of your furnace include the motor, bearings, belts, and pulleys. These parts need regular lubrication to reduce friction, prevent wear and tear, and extend their lifespan. You should lubricate them with a light oil or grease according to the manufacturer’s instructions at least once a year or more often if you hear squeaking or grinding noises.
Test the thermostat and safety controls
The thermostat and safety controls are the parts that regulate the temperature and operation of your furnace. A faulty thermostat can cause your furnace to run too hot or too cold, affecting your comfort and energy bills. A malfunctioning safety control can fail to detect or respond to potential hazards, such as overheating, gas leaks, or power surges. You should test the thermostat and safety controls by setting different temperatures and observing how your furnace reacts. If you notice any inconsistencies or errors, you should contact a professional technician for calibration or replacement.