It’s that time of year again. You step outside and experience that chill in the air and the feeling of winter being near. You then realize that it will not be long before temperatures are cold enough to begin using your furnace again. As the temperature drops, proper and proactive furnace maintenance should be a priority. This will also give you peace of mind that you’re less likely to be stuck in a cold home if something goes out with your furnace.
Statistics have proven that keeping up with furnace maintenance will not only allow your unit to last years longer, but also deliver better performance and lower energy costs than that of a poorly maintained unit. It makes sense that the more efficient your furnace is at heating your house, the less it will cost you in electrical, fuel and maintenance costs down the road.
Save on Bills and Maintenance
If you are like most people, when fall time is here your furnace has likely been sitting idle at least 6 months. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not make furnace maintenance a priority. Many homeowners put it off or think it is a task to be done every 5 years or so. Regrettably, this can lead to a furnace that is inefficient, malfunctions, or ends up damaged. Your furnace is a fair part of the investment in your home and keeping it in top working order is something that will pay off for years to come.
Below is a complete checklist for typical residential and small business furnace units. This furnace maintenance checklist should be performed yearly by a service professional.
Furnace Maintenance Checklist
- Test for Carbon Monoxide
Testing of entire premises while unit is operating for dangerous carbon monoxide levels.
- Furnace Noise Level Check
A check to see if operating sound level is normal or excessive which, if excessive, can indicate problems.
- Replacement of Furnace Filters
Replacement of furnace filters will not only allow your unit to run cleaner and more efficiently, but can save on energy costs as well.
- Heat Exchanger Inspection
Inspection of the heat exchanger is crucial to prevent the possibility of dangerous carbon monoxide leaks from entering the living space of your home.
- Clean Cells and Furnace Cabinet
Proper cleaning keeping vital parts free of dust, dirt, soot and accumulative debris will keep your furnace working safely and efficiently for many years.
- Vacuum Entire Furnace and Burners
Preventing the buildup of dirt, dust and soot will provide smooth ignition and efficient uniform firing throughout the unit.
- Inspect for Adequate Venting
Adequate venting is also crucial to prevent dangerous carbon monoxide from entering into the living space of your home not to mention to keep the furnace operating efficiently and smoothly.
- Inspect Vent Caps
Properly installed and maintained vent caps will ensure nothing can enter and block the vent from the furnace to the outside which can be dangerous due to carbon monoxide buildup.
- Air Intake Capacity
For your furnace to work efficiently and properly it must have plenty of air intake capacity to circulate the air in your home, without it your furnace’s performance will be jeopardized.
- Inspect Blower and Fan
A properly working blower is vital to even heat distribution throughout your home and prevents excessive heat buildup in one location.
- Inspect for any Gas Leaks
Gas or fuel leaks can be extremely dangerous and if left undetected can result in combustible fire and explosion.
- Lubricate all appropriate Moving Parts
Properly lubricated and moving parts of the furnace allow the unit to operate at a lower noise level and at full efficiency.
- Check Operating Temperature
Assessment of the operating temperature will tell a lot about the efficiency and the overall operating condition of your furnace unit.
- Check Air Flow and Temperature at Register
Assessing the air flow and temperature at the register tells how much heat is reaching the living space and how overall efficient the furnace is in providing and maintaining a comfortable temperature level throughout your home.
- Check Operation of Humidifier (if applicable)
Keeping your humidifier clean and in good working order will prevent the air in your home from becoming overly dry and keep the air in your living space at a comfortable level.
- Check Furnace Ignition and Response Time
Keeping up your furnace maintenance by assessing its ignition and response time will also reveal details about the condition and efficiency of your unit.
- Recommend any Improvements for Unit
At times there are worn parts needing replacing and upgrades available for your heating unit. After initial inspection the service professional can discuss these options with you.
Above is a great, typical furnace maintenance checklist that is usually conducted by a qualified service professional. Be sure to regularly service your furnace with bi-yearly (seasonal) cleaning and maintenance, including vacuuming, filter change and inspecting the vent caps to the exhaust to be sure they are properly fastened and free of rust or corrosion. Following these considerations for furnace maintenance will provide you with a safe, efficient and quality furnace to keep your home warm and comfortable throughout those cold winter months.