Get Your Furnace in Shape Before Winter Hits

You probably haven’t given your furnace much thought since the weather warmed in the spring, and it finished its duties for another year. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore it forever. With winter looming on the horizon, it is time to show your furnace a little TLC as you complete your regular home fall maintenance. While a yearly heating installation or service visit from your HVAC contractors is recommended, if you are handy around the house, there are a few things you can do to keep things running smoothly.

Replace Air Filters

The air filter on your furnace works to trap dust, pet hair, and other debris in the air before it enters the furnace. If the filter gets clogged, airflow is restricted, and your furnace will not get the air it needs to function efficiently. Now is the time to replace the filter, but if you prefer to leave that to the professionals, vacuum it off now to get you by until your yearly service call.

Check the Flame

You probably assume that as long as your furnace ignites and provides warm air to your home that the flame is working properly. But this is the time to check the flame to make sure. You won’t fix it yourself, of course, but you can determine whether it needs servicing. Open or remove the combustion chamber door and observe the flame. Healthy flames are steady and blue. If your flame flickers wildly or is yellow, it is not burning efficiently. Call your HVAC contractors at Buckeye Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to get the furnace serviced.

If Your Furnace Flame is Yellow, It’s Not Burning Efficiently.

Clean the Flame Sensor

Your furnace has a sensor that tells the flame when to ignite. If it gets covered with dust and grime, it might fail to relay the message to the burner to kick up the flame. Clean the sensor with an emery cloth to remove dust and residue that has built up during the year.

Vacuum Dust

If you have pets, you already know that pet hair and dander are common causes of dust in the air, but they are not the only source. You create dust from everyday activities, too. Sometimes it works its way inside your furnace, making it less efficient. Vacuuming the interior of your furnace keeps it running smoothly. To vacuum the furnace, follow these steps:

  • Disconnect the furnace from the electrical supply.
  • Shut off the fuel source.
  • Remove the blower fan, also called the squirrel cage, and vacuum the fan blades.
  • Vacuum the burners and other interior sections in your furnace.
  • Reassemble any parts you have removed and turn the electricity and fuel supply back on.

Check Your Ductwork

This is a good time to check your ductwork, too. Check for loose connections or any signs of rusting or deterioration, and make sure the vents to all rooms are in the open position. If you must close off airflow to unused sections of the house, do so by adjusting the dampers in the branch of the ductwork that leads to that area. Closing off vents in rooms can interfere with the air pressure and airflow in the ducts and make your furnace run inefficiently.

If you have questions about other tasks you can do to keep your furnace running smoothly, talk to your local HVAC contractors.

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