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Importance Of Regular Furnace Maintenance (Explained)

When you perform regular furnace maintenance, you can sort out minor problems before they become major ones. Regular maintenance improves energy efficiency and gives your furnace a longer lifespan. 

Not only will regular maintenance save you money from regular repairs, but you’ll also enjoy quality indoor air. Regular furnace breakdowns will no longer be a problem, ensuring proper heating performance. 

In this article, we help you understand the basics of furnace maintenance. We explain how regular furnace maintenance helps improve energy efficiency, extend lifespan, and ensure proper heat performance. 

Improving Energy Efficiency

Wall insulation

If your furnace has a lot of leaks, it will have to work harder to heat your home. Excessive strain on the furnace motor will shorten its lifespan. More work for your furnace means more energy, leading to higher bills.  

Adding insulation to your walls and floors will create heat barriers that prevent heat loss. As a homeowner, understanding the home insulation dilemma is crucial for the comfort of your home. 

Filling up any holes and gaps in your home will maintain the heat inside, making your home more energy efficient. Using double or triple panes windows provides better insulation by minimizing heat transfer. 

Optimizing thermostat settings will reduce unnecessary heating cycles, improving your home’s energy efficiency. Invest in a programmable thermostat to have complete control over your heating schedule. Lowering the furnace temperature when you’re away or sleeping helps in saving energy. 

How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Furnace

Performing an annual face tune-up ensures that your furnace works efficiently and provides optimal heating performance. Hence extending the lifespan of your furnace. The average lifespan of a furnace ranges between 15-30 years. 

Regular maintenance lets you know which parts need repairs or replacement. If service is not done on time, it could lead to a furnace system breakdown. Buying a new furnace might be the only solution.

How can a tune-up increase your equipment’s lifespan?

  • No surprise breakdowns: By avoiding or reducing surprises, you avoid the cost of calling a professional technician. A furnace tune-up helps in spotting worn-out or damaged parts. Fixing them on time will keep the furnace running smoothly for longer. 
  • Avoid major repairs: Minor repairs will cost you less. However, if you don’t spot the minor issues on time, you might be forced to incur major repairs, which can be costly. 

Ensuring Proper Heating Performance

A ceiling fan

When you perform regular furnace maintenance, you’ll have reliable and consistent heating throughout your home. You won’t have to worry about uneven heating in your home during the cold winter months. 

How to ensure heat performance

  • Install vent boosters: Ensures that every room receives adequate warm air. You can install a vent booster directly over vents or ductwork to enhance airflow. 
  • Zoning: Divide your home into zones with separate temperature controls. Avoid heating rooms you don’t use regularly, preserving more energy for the crucial rooms. 
  • Use ceiling fans to help improve the circulation of warm air as they rotate anticlockwise. The fans help distribute warm air to the upper rooms, not concentrating it near the ceiling.

Prevention of Costly Breakdowns and Repairs

You must invest in a certified and experienced HVAC technician to prevent costly breakdowns when setting up a new furnace. The technician ensures the furnace is connected, calibrated for optimal safety and efficiency, and correctly sized. 

Regular maintenance helps to address minor damages on time before they lead to major and expensive problems. Breakdown of your blower or heat exchanger will force you to incur huge repair costs. 

Imagine the cost of a complete breakdown just when winter has started. 

Enhancing Indoor Air Quality

A dirty air filter will compromise the air quality you receive. The work of filters is to remove pollutants such as dirt and allergens. The dirt in the furnace filter restricts the airflow, causing the whole furnace HVAC system to work harder to remove the pollutants. 

The fans in the blower units will also have to work extra hard to clear the air to heat your home correctly. However, there are other reasons why your furnace blower motor won’t turn off.

What to do? 

We recommend cleaning or replacing the air filter every 30-90 days. Every time you replace or clean, write the date on the cardboard edge of the filter. Use your phone to set a reminder to replace the air filters. 

Ensure you replace it with high-quality filters to enhance the indoor air quality. 

Please request your qualified HVAC professional to do it during regular maintenance. 

Safety Measures and Fire Prevention

A smoke detector

Understanding your furnace type will help develop the necessary fire prevention safety measures. The most common furnaces are oil, electric, and gas. 

Safety Prevention Tips for Furnaces

You should follow the following safety measures to prevent fire:

  • Regular maintenance: It will help identify cracks and leaks on time. Early detection of carbon monoxide leaks, which are life-threatening, is made possible. 
  • The area around the furnace should be clear: Furnaces usually get hot quickly and can burn any material close to them., causing home fires.  If the walls around your furnace are colored or warm to the touch, call a technician. 
  • Leave major repairs to professionals: Don’t attempt to do repairs. Unknown damage to a furnace can lead to lead to a fire outbreak. 
  • Clean your furnace after a hot season: A lot of debris might have gotten to it as you don’t use it regularly during the hot season. Clean it thoroughly to remove the flammable compounds. 
  • Have fire alarms that work correctly: Fire alarms will warn you early about a fire outbreak, and you can stop it. You’ll also have enough time to evacuate materials that can accelerate the fire. 

Compliance with Manufacturer Warranty Requirements

Most manufacturers require that you show evidence of regular furnace tune-ups for them to honor your warranty. If you can’t do this, you’ll be forced to pay for the repairs out of pocket. 

You might often buy a new furnace because the repairs are costly. 

How to Comply and Maintain Your Furnace’s Warranties

As a homeowner, you want protection and peace of mind regarding warranties for your furnace. Hence, follow the following tips. 

  • Ensure that your furnace is installed and regularly serviced by a reliable HVAC company. Some manufacturers offer warranties for parts only. 
  • Register your furnace warranty to receive full benefits. You can do so online or on the product registration card. Register as soon as you buy your furnace. 
  • Schedule regular annual inspections by a technician who deals explicitly with furnaces. Ensure you document the check-ups, as the manufacturer will need them to honor the warranty. Using unauthorized technicians can void your warranties. 
  • You should also use the manufacturer’s guidelines for furnace usage. Understand what the warranty covers.
  • Avoid any modifications or alterations to your furnace. 

Hiring Professional Maintenance Services

Heating thermostat

When you hire professionals to do maintenance, they will undertake the following services. 

  • They will inspect the blower and the heat exchanger. 
  • Expect the professional technicians to inspect the moving parts in the furnace and add some lubricating oil. 
  • The professional will test the thermostat calibration to ensure it operates efficiently. 
  • They should perform electrical checks on the furnace components and electrical connections. 
  • Check the intakes, flues, and vents for blockages restricting unrestricted airflow. 

DIY Furnace Maintenance Tips

Air vents

Some furnace maintenance jobs are simple, and homeowners can easily carry them out. 

TipsThe Process
Clean your vents.Remove the air vent covers.
Use your vacuum cleaner attachment and clean thoroughly.
Clear area around the furnaceClean or sweep around the furnace area regularly to remove dust and debris, keeping the inside of your furnace clean.
Don’t store household cleaners, paints, or other chemicals to avoid volatile compounds spreading throughout the home.
Clean the fan and blower motor.Use an extension hose and a shoe vac.
Regular maintenance of the outdoor units.Clear any grass, bushes, or vegetation growing around your outdoor units.
Anything obstructing your outdoor unit should be at least two feet away.
Test carbon monoxide detectors.Check regularly to ensure that the batteries are working. You can replace the batteries every six months.
Carbon monoxide leaks are deadly in high concentrations.
Check the pilot light.When you see the pilot light burning any color apart from blue, it’s time to change it.
Remove the pilot’s light cover to check.
If the pilot light is off or regularly shuts down, let a technician deal with the problem.
Clean drain pipes.They channel moisture away to prevent the buildup and circulation of mold around your home.
Use a clean cloth or a small brush to clean the drain pipes.
Alternatively, use a vacuum to suck out any buildup or debris.
At the access point of the drain, pour a cup of distilled vinegar. After 30 minutes, flush the drain with water and replace the cap.

Author

  • Steve Rajeckas

    Steve Rajeckas is an HVAC hobbyist with an avid interest in learning innovative ways to keep rooms, buildings, and everything else at the optimal temperature. When he's not working on new posts for Temperature Master, he can be found reading books or exploring the outdoors.

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