9 Important Furnace Maintenance Tips Every Home Owner Should Know

Every homeowner should understand that basic furnace maintenance isn’t rocket science and should not feel overly intimidating. Replacing or repairing HVAC units can be expensive. If your system breaks down, it could leave your home without heat for days or weeks. Maintenance should be performed about every three months to avoid common problems with your furnace. If you want to keep your HVAC system efficient and working smoothly, take care of your heating system by following a few essential furnace maintenance tips.

Furnace maintenance tips not enough? Get your unit back on track with a furnace check-up from Russell Heating and Air.

1. Make sure you switch off the furnace before handling maintenance tasks.

Gas appliances could put your life in danger if mishandled, so be sure you are exercising safety precautions while inspecting the furnace. While following any furnace maintenance tips that expose you to electricity, gas, or moving parts, ensure that the HVAC system is turned off. Don’t hesitate to call for an HVAC expert technician if anything seems amiss.

2. Clean or change your filter.

The air filter keeps the air clean by accumulating dirt, dust, airborne particles, and other debris. This vital component of your system needs regular attention. If the furnace seems slow to heat your home, it may be an indication of a clogged filter. A clean filter uses up to 15% less energy than a dirty filter. It significantly improves HVAC system efficiency and performance and results in a lower utility bill. The filter should be cleaned or replaced about once a month. When it comes to essential furnace maintenance tips that anyone can do, changing the air filter is at the top of the list.

3. Examine the pilot light.

Monitoring the furnace’s pilot light can give you clues as to how well your furnace is working. The color of the flame can alert you to dangerous problems with your furnace because it indicates whether or not the gas is burning in the proper ratio. If the pilot light is blue, then your furnace is burning fuel normally. If the flame is yellow or any other color, the furnace is malfunctioning. In the interest of your family’s safety, an HVAC professional should be contacted immediately.

4. Test the thermostat.

Checking off items on your furnace maintenance tips list should always include a thermostat test. Homeowners can check for furnace problems by adjusting the temperature of the thermostat. Set it to a warmer temperature, then listen for sounds from your furnace. If you hear the furnace rumbling but heat isn’t coming through your vents, this indicates a furnace malfunction.

5. Inspect fan components.

You can take a look at the furnace fan components to check for any obvious issues or obstructions. A detailed examination of fan components is best done by the well-trained eye of an HVAC professional. HVAC service pros know precisely what to look for and can spot issues that are often missed by others. The experts at Russell Heating and Air can perform a maintenance check and keep your family warm this winter. They can also provide some additional furnace maintenance tips that are specific to your system.

6. Keep the outdoor unit clean and clear.

Sometimes following furnace maintenance tips will take you outside. If trees or shrubs surround your outdoor unit, ensure the unit is unobstructed. Make sure leaves or other debris do not get inside the unit. This may require cutting back branches, vines, or brush. Keep a clearance of two feet surrounding the unit to keep it running at top performance.

7. Clean the condensate drain line.

Every HVAC unit has a condensate drain line. If your system has difficulty performing, it could be a sign that the drain line is clogged with sediment or debris. The solution to this problem is to clean the drain line. You will need to detach the line and pour in a cup of vinegar or bleach to clear out the build-up of impurities like mold, algae, or dirt. If this item on the list of furnace maintenance tips makes you think twice about doing it yourself, don’t hesitate to call in a professional from Russell Heating and Air for help.

8. Ensure the evaporator and condenser coils are free of dirt or debris.

Both the indoor and outdoor units of the HVAC system have coils. Dirt and debris can block the coils and lead to improper functioning. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep your condenser coils and evaporator free of matter that can inhibit their performance. Be sure to follow the coil cleaning instructions in your unit’s user manual. If the coil is damaged, it may lead to an expensive repair.

9. Check air ducts for damage or restricted airflow.

The final item in this list of furnace maintenance tips is another simple one that often gets missed.  Walk through your house while the unit is running and make sure the airflow coming through the vents is strong and consistent. If any vents seem weak, ensure the vents are fully open and not being obstructed. Make sure that not too many vents are closed, as this may cause airflow problems as well. If it feels like the air is weak or restricted, or if you see insulation debris blowing through your vents, it’s a sign of damaged or torn ducts.

Does Your Furnace Need a Maintenance Check-Up?

These furnace maintenance tips are a great start for any homeowner. However, the thorough inspection and maintenance of HVAC systems can only be done by a knowledgeable expert. Call our furnace maintenance professionals today to avoid being left out in the cold. We provide 24/7 emergency services in Woodstock and Canton, GA.

Gary Russell