Is it time to do some maintenance on your home furnace? Are you thinking about calling a HVAC contractor to inspect your furnace?
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Is it time to do some maintenance on your home furnace? Are you thinking about calling a HVAC contractor to inspect your furnace? Read this article to help you decide if you could do the furnace maintenance yourself or if you need to contact a HVAC contractor to do it.
Performing regular maintenance on your furnace will extend the life of your heating system and improve its energy efficiency. By spending a little bit of money to service your furnace annually you will save a great deal of money in the long run.
You can call an HVAC contractor to perform the annual furnace maintenance routine (approximately $100) or you can try to do it yourself. If you plan to take the DIY route, this step by step guide to furnace maintenance may help:
Shut down the heating system before performing any type of furnace maintenance. Switch off both the electrical power and the fuel supply.
Carefully inspect all of the flue pipes for cracks and leaks. Pay special attention to the area where the pipe meets the furnace. Any leaks that are found should be repaired immediately. These leaks can allow carbon monoxide to seep into the house, which can be very dangerous and possibly fatal for pets and humans. Small cracks can be covered or patched, but large holes or pipes that are completely corroded should be replaced entirely. This is one of the most important steps in maintaining your furnace.
Over time, soot builds up on walls in the combustion chamber, causing corrosion to occur. To prevent this, clean the combustion chamber with a wire brush. After knocking down the build-up, use a vacuum cleaner to completely remove all of the soot and loose particles.
Some furnace manufacturers recommend keeping the furnace's blower motor lubricated. Check the owner's manual for your furnace to see if the recommendation applies to your unit. If so, add a few drops of oil to each oil port every year when performing annual maintenance on your furnace.
One of the easiest ways to successfully maintain your furnace is by changing the filter. Most furnace service calls happen because filters have not been maintained properly. If the furnace filter is not working properly, it can allow dust, dirt and other particles into the blower and coil assemblies, reducing efficiency and possible damaging the blower motor. Disposable filters should be changed once per month, while reusable filters should be cleaned every other month.
While performing annual furnace maintenance, you will also want to clean your exterior vents and floor vents. If the outdoor intake and exhaust vents become clogged with debris, they can allow carbon monoxide fumes to back up into the house. Removing floor registers and cleaning the vents thoroughly will help improve your furnace's efficiency and the air quality in your home.
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