When winter rolls around, a working furnace is a top priority as the outdoor temperature falls. Here are some tips for making sure you’re not faced with a furnace breakdown this winter.
Clean or Replace Filters
Dirty filters will cause your fan to work harder to push air throughout your house. Replacing filters regularly will help prevent a fan from working too hard and breaking down.
Check Blower Motors
Dirty blowers have to work harder to push the same amount of air, and motors can burn out if not maintained. Start with a visual inspection to make sure there’s no sign of rust or debris. Also check the fan belt to make sure it’s not too loose. If the blower makes noise when it’s on, call a professional to do a more thorough inspection on your furnace.
Clean or Replace Burners
Be sure to clean your burners to ensure they work at maximum efficiency. Observe the flame color, which should be blue. A yellow flame points to poor combustion which produces toxic gases like carbon monoxide. Verify that all burners are working and call a professional to have faulty burners replaced.
Replace Heat Exchangers
When a furnace burns gas, the heat is transferred to the air blowing throughout your house though a heat exchanger. Over time, this component can corrode, placing you at risk for flue gases entering your home. Do a visual inspection for signs of corrosion. If you see evidence of holes or cracks, call in a professional to replace it immediately.
Check Furnace Controls
Make sure your furnace responds when you adjust your thermostat. It should come on when you increase the set point above the room temperature, and should turn off when the temperature reaches the desired set point. A furnace that fails to come on and off when needed can be the result of a faulty onboard control system. Have a technician look at both your thermostat and the furnace itself.
When to Upgrade Your Furnace
There will come a time when maintenance and repair won’t be enough to keep your furnace running. Consider upgrading if gas usage climbs despite milder weather or efforts to use less heat, or if you find yourself spending too much time and money on repairs.