How Do I Keep My Furnace in Good Condition?

Furnaces

Regular maintenance is one of the ways to keep your furnace in good condition. A furnace needs adequate care so that it can function when you need it. If you maintain your furnace poorly, it’ll develop issues in the long run.

It’s also important to keep your furnace in good condition because of your health and your family. For instance, regular furnace maintenance requires cleaning the air filter. Doing so will improve air quality and prevent allergy-related issues.

This article will expose useful tips on maintaining your furnace and making sure it’s in good condition. You’ll also come across the likely costs of repairing furnace faults in this furnace maintenance guide.

How Do I Keep My Furnace in Good Condition?

Like other machines, your furnace is going to develop wear and tear problems as time goes on. The more wear and tear occurs, the faster your furnace will pack up. So, to make sure your furnace lasts, you must ensure that it’s always in perfect working condition. A furnace that’s always in good working condition will reduce wear and tear and save you large repair costs.

To be safe during furnace inspection or maintenance, always shut down the fuel supply and electrical power. But be sure to turn the electricity and fuel line back on after the inspection.

There are steps you need to follow to ensure your furnace works perfectly. These steps aren’t difficult, but doing them consistently is the key thing. See the steps below:

Take a Look at The Furnace Filter

Filters prevent unwanted particles like hair and dust from clogging your furnace. Without filters, your furnace will find it difficult to produce warm fresh air in your home.

You’ll mostly find a furnace filter on the intake side, slid onto a rack at the bottom door, right where the blower is. To access the furnace filter, you need to open the top and bottom doors.

Checking the furnace filter for debris every month will help maintain your furnace in good working condition. If there’s any hair or dust on the surface, wash it off (if the filter is the reusable type). If not, you’ll have to replace it completely.

Check If the Furnace Blower Motor is Okay or Not

Furnace Blower Motor

The job of the blower motor in a furnace is to blow hot air into your home through the heat exchanger. The blower motor has many functional components, which make it require proper maintenance. If the blower motor doesn’t get care regularly, it’ll begin to develop faults.

An indicator that your blower motor may be faulty is that your furnace will become noisy. You’ll hear a sound like two metal surfaces grinding against each other. The sound may result from the blower wheel loosening from the shaft of the blower motor, thereby scraping the internal housing.

Ensure the Vents are Debris-free and Open

The furnace needs the air in your home to circulate within the system properly. So it’s the responsibility of the furnace vent to expel combustion gas from your home, especially through the roof.

You need to ensure that all the vents in your house are open and void of blockades. The ducts in your home must allow air flow freely. A blocked vent will make the furnace work harder, which may eventually cause it to develop faults.

Seal Possible Air Leakages in Your Home

Leakages can make cold air enter your home and also cause hot air to escape. If you seal up the possible leakage points, it’ll reduce the amount of heat you need to keep your home warm.

To discover the reason for heat loss in your home, contact a furnace repair and maintenance expert or technician. The technician can find leakage spots in your home by using special equipment like an infrared camera.

Possible solutions to air leakages in your home include:

  • Adding to the attic insulation
  • Weatherstripping your doors and windows
  • Sealing and insulating ductwork

Immediately you make adjustments and fix the necessary air escape points, your home’s heat load on the furnace will significantly reduce.

A light heating load prolongs the lifespan of your furnace.

Keep Furnace Area Clear

Keep Furnace Area Clear

The area around the furnace shouldn’t have any items, especially flammable ones. Most people house their furnace in the basement.

While there’s nothing wrong with this, most homeowners also house their random properties in the basement. If you want to keep your furnace in good condition, it’s best to maintain a five-foot distance from the furnace when arranging your basement.

The furnace contains burning gas which makes it a safety issue. Also, giving the furnace some space provides room for better air circulation.

You Can Use a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature according to an already scheduled timeline. Programming your furnace thermostat can greatly reduce your gas bill monthly.

Due to the thermostat programming, there’ll be times when your furnace requires less effort to work. When your furnace doesn’t work every time at its full capacity, it reduces wear and tear, thereby making your furnace last longer.

You can go for a two or five-day programmable thermostat, and it’s usually not that expensive. In addition, it’ll allow you to schedule your furnace to lower the temperature when you’re outdoors, sleeping and vice versa.

Bake More During Winter

To make your furnace last longer, you can give it a break by baking more often during winter.

Using the oven will heat your kitchen area, which may spread onto the other parts of your house. It’s a win-win situation as you’ll also get a home-cooked meal while allowing your furnace rest.

Clean the Furnace Heating Systems and Ducts

Both the heating and cooling systems of your furnace need to be clean at all times to make it function effectively. Any obstacle inside the vent can go down to the ductwork and reduce the furnace’s performance.

You can take some time to clean your ductwork if it’s been a while you had a look at it.  Also, you can remove the floor registers and clean up the mess around them. Ensuring proper heating systems hygiene helps your furnace work better.

If You Use a Gas Furnace, Check on the Exterior Exhaust Flue

The exhaust flue requires constant attention because of the negative effects it has on the human body. The fumes from the furnace carry three toxic components: sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon dioxide.

So if there’s an obstruction in the exhaust flue, these three toxic components can cause faults to develop fast. The same components also come with bad health effects. Some of the negative health effects include:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Nausea
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Death
  • Fatigue
  • Collapse

Consistency is Key

It’s important to conduct furnace maintenance and repairs regularly. If you fail to tune up your furnace once in a while, it’ll fail you in the long run when you need it the most. Asides from that, you may be exposing your house to a potential fire outbreak.

But if you maintain your furnace correctly and promptly, your furnace will keep it running at the highest capacity. The furnace is important in every home during the winter season, so you must take its maintenance seriously.

Importance of Furnace Maintenance

Machines need maintenance just as humans need to go for a health checkup. So if having your furnace in good condition wasn’t important enough, you won’t be here, right? Below you’ll see why it’s important to keep your furnace in good condition.

Furnace Maintenance is Good for Health Purposes

Maintaining your furnace rids the furnace of dust and other pollutants that the air may carry. Part of maintaining your furnace is cleaning the furnace’s air filter. Failure to do so will expose your home to polluted and contaminated air, which may come with an airborne disease.

So when it’s time to run a maintenance check on your furnace, ensure the air filter is clean. A clean air filter and furnace improve the air quality in your home and your family’s health.

Furnace Maintenance Ensures Optimal Performance

Home appliances are in your home to serve a particular purpose. But if you don’t maintain these appliances properly, they may begin to develop faults that affect their general performance.

Furnace maintenance and repair is good because it’ll make your furnace function at its best. There’s nothing like having an appliance that’s at its best working conditions because you’ll always derive satisfaction anytime you use it.

Prolonged Lifespan

When you maintain your furnace as often as you need to, it’ll develop lesser faults. As a result, wear and tear will be lesser, thereby extending the lifespan of your furnace. If you maintain your furnace rightly, it may last you for 15-20 years.

Proper Furnace Maintenance Helps You Save Cost

Neglecting the faults in appliances like a furnace can make it develop bigger issues that will cost you more to fix. But if you ensure that you always service your furnace and maintain it adequately, you’ll get to fix some minor faults before they turn into something bigger.

When to Service and Repair Your Furnace

Servicing your furnace is an exercise you should carry out at least once every year. You don’t need to wait for the furnace to have any issue before you service it.

Most furnace manufacturers recommend that you schedule annual inspections and servicing. Observing the annual furnace checkup rule will keep your furnace in good condition always.

However, your furnace may start giving you some signs before the next servicing appointment. Contact an HVAC professional once you notice any of these signs.

Problems in Turning On the Furnace

The older your furnace gets, you may experience difficulty in turning on the unit. If your furnace requires several attempts before coming on and staying on, it’s a sign that it needs a repair. Difficulty in starting your furnace may be a result of a wiring problem or defective thermostats.

The furnace is a different kind of home appliance, and it’s best to allow a professional to look at the problem. Replacing the faulty part will resolve the issue of turning on your furnace.

Irregular Noise

A furnace isn’t a silent home appliance, but if you start hearing a loud, irregular noise, it may be a sign of a serious issue. When the HVAC professional arrives, try to explain the sound to them.

Most times, a whistling and squealing sound may result from a fan or belt issue banging on a loose internal part. Discovering and repairing any fault that causes an irregular noise is part of how to make your furnace last longer.

Furnace Not Heating Up Properly

The main purpose is to heat the home once the weather is less than 18 degrees celsius. So if the furnace isn’t heating your home properly, irrespective of your thermostat settings, you need to call for an expert to come and have a look.

Your furnace may not heat up properly due to leaking ductwork that gives air the chance to escape. A bad thermostat may also be responsible for the heating problem in your furnace.

Unusual Furnace Smell

A furnace usually has a slight fuel smell, particularly when they’re just coming on for the first time in a long while. But this slight fuel smell fades off after the furnace works for a few minutes.

If the smell of the fuel persists, it indicates a problem. The problem is sensitive, so you need to contact an HVAC professional to know the root of the fault immediately.

Abnormal Pilot Light Color

The pilot light of a good furnace is mostly blue. Once your furnace develops a fault, the colour of the pilot light may change to yellow significantly. A yellow pilot light may be pointing out a ventilation problem.

The pilot light colour can also change when certain gases, especially carbon monoxide, don’t dissipate the normal way.

Take a discoloured plot light seriously to avoid health problems for you and your family. Contact a professional immediately for furnace maintenance repairs and any fault that comes with the pilot light indicator.

Cost of Cleaning and Servicing Your Furnace

The cost of cleaning and servicing your furnace is $425 on average. But if the HVAC technician discovers any fault or issue, the cost of repairing the defect will affect the total maintenance expense.

See some of the factors that affect furnace repair costs below.

Service And Repair Your Furnace

Service Fee

The service fee for an HVAC technician is usually between $75 to $250, even though they don’t carry out any repairs. The service fee covers cleaning the sensor, checking the filters and resetting a circuit breaker or sensor. But if the HVAC technician discovers any fault, you’ll need to pay for the repair and labour cost.

Replacement Component

Replacing a defective component determines the total cost of furnace repairs and maintenance generally.

While some components of a furnace may be relatively cheaper to fix, others are quite expensive. For example, the blower motor and capacitor costs between $1000 and $1500, while a thermocouple and transformer cost $100 to $200.

So if you spend less on the replacement component and vice versa, it’ll reflect on the total repair and maintenance costs. Help your furnace work better by getting authentic replacement parts.

Your Location

Where you reside also affects furnace repair and maintenance costs. The standard of living isn’t the same in every area. Some areas cost more than others due to the quality of people residing there or investments within the region.

It’s also possible that there may be a scarcity of HVAC technicians in your province. So the cost of one coming from afar will likely be more due to gas consumption.

Conclusion

Part of keeping your furnace in good condition is repairing faults quickly when you discover them. By doing so, you can stop these faults from ballooning into bigger, expensive repairs.

Contact our technicians at ALP Heating for affordable same-day repair service. Get in touch with us today!

ALP Heating is committed to providing the finest service possible to important areas. We are delighted to be your go-to cooling and heating business for all of your requirements. Because of our commitment to perfection.