A gas furnace should be maintained every season to prolong its life and keep it working properly. Here are some furnace maintenance tasks homeowners can do themselves, but a professional should be consulted to ensure the furnace is taken care of properly.
- Ensuring Safety – Before doing furnace maintenance, the gas supply and power should be shut off to prevent accidents. The gas line is typically connected to the furnace in a black pipe and has a shut-off valve nearby. The power switch can be found on the side of the furnace – if not, the appropriate breaker should be shut off at the electrical panel.
- Cleaning the Furnace Interior – After opening the furnace door, all crevices and inner components should be cleaned of dust and debris with a soft-tipped paint brush. Then, the base of the furnace, the gas burners, and inner components can be cleaned using a vacuum cleaner with a long snorkel attachment.
- Checking the Thermostat Wires – Once the power to the furnace is shut off and the door is opened, the furnace wires should be pulled slightly to ensure they’re tight and properly fitted.
- Replacing the Air Filter – The filter traps dirt and dust, maintaining the efficiency of the furnace. The air filter should be checked and changed monthly during the heating season. The manufacturer’s instructions provide instructions on how often to change the filter.
- Cleaning the Blower – Located just behind the air filter, the blower can accumulate dirt and dust that penetrates through the air filter. To clean the blower, it should be first removed, then the blower blades and blower assembly can be cleaned with a small brush and a cloth. The dirt and dust can be vacuumed once the blower has been brushed off.
- Checking the Drive Belt – This component can get too loose or suffer fraying, glazing or cracks. It should be checked for damage and ensure it feels tight but not too loose. If it’s extra loose or damaged in any way, it must be replaced.
- Cleaning the Flame Sensor – Over time, residue builds up on the flame sensor which may stop the furnace from working. It should be pulled down from its bracket and cleaned it carefully with a fine emery cloth. Once it’s clean, it can be put back into its bracket.
- Cleaning the Furnace Ducts – As dust and dirt accumulate in the furnace ducts, it should be cleaned to keep the furnace working at maximum efficiency. Professional duct cleaning is the best way to clean ducts thoroughly.
Following these furnace maintenance tips can save homeowners extra expenses if the furnace stops working during a cold winter night. Here are additional home heating safety tips and electric heater safety rules. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.