How Do You Maintain a Furnace?

Brushing Away Dust Bunnies in a Furnace

Always Start Your Heating Maintenance by Turning Off the Gas and Power Switch. Play It Safe!

Do you enjoy having warm, relaxing air available for your home during cold nights? Most people do! A critical part of that cozy environment is your home’s furnace system, which generates heated air to be circulated around the house. Keeping this system properly maintained is critical, but it’s a task many homeowners forget about until an emergency pops up.

Why is this upkeep so important? One look at your heating bill this winter should be enough to show why heating system maintenance is so essential. Just one look! Homeowners either keep up with maintenance and enjoy a lower bill, or they let it slip by and see a steady rise in heating costs. To assist you in saving money and extending the life of your furnace, here are some easy DIY tips!

Heating System Maintenance: DIY Tips

Did you know that your HVAC system accounts for almost half off all your home’s energy usage each day?¬†Keeping your heating and cooling system clean may feel challenging, but the work pays itself off with some serious dividends. You may be wondering “How do I clean my furnace at home?” There are several aspects of your furnace that require maintenance, but we’ll focus on some of the easier jobs. Before performing any of the following steps, make sure your warranty permits this DIY cleaning.

Heating Maintenance Checklist

  • Start with a thermostat check to make sure the heating stays on when prompted.
  • Before moving on, make sure you turn off the gas and power switch.
  • Next, check your filter. Wash or replace it as needed.
  • Take a vacuum hose and clean out any dirt or dust around the burners.
  • Vacuum the furnace blower. You may need to remove a couple screws from the control panel to get it out of your way. Your blower will likely be attached via bolts, so you’ll need a wrench ratchet and socket.
  • Return all parts to their regular positions, then turn the gas and power back on.

How Do I Clean a Furnace Filter?

This is the easiest part of maintenance, though your steps will depend on the filter type. Cardboard filters should simply removed and replaced. Regular filters should be carefully removed and washed with a gentle hose. You’ll want clean water coming through the other side. After you’ve finished cleaning the filter, let it dry out complete before putting it back in.

Bonus Tips for Your Maintenance Planning

Sometimes it’s Cheaper to Replace Leaky Ductwork.

There are a couple of factors outside of your heating system that will greatly affect the lifetime of your furnace. They’re both related to efficiency. First and foremost are your air ducts. Leaky ducts generate huge amounts of waste during operation, forcing your furnace to work harder and longer to warm your home. That extra stress shortens the life of your heating system. To cover any small holes, utilize some foil tape from your local Lowe’s, Home Depot, or hardware store.

Second, examine your home for any other areas that could be wasting air. This could be an unsealed door or window. In some homes, even damaged vinyl siding could adversely affect the efficiency of the HVAC system.

Is a Heating Maintenance Plan Worth the Cost?

Sometimes it pays to bring in a professional. When it comes to determining whether or not your family could benefit from a heating maintenance plan, that’s completely up to your family budget and the cost of the service. In exchange for prepaying for service, many local companies provide small discounts, which can make the process a little more affordable.

If your heating system lasts considerably longer as the result of the continued maintenance, that alone is well worth the investment. However, you may also earn some considerably energy efficiency savings too. Not every service is the same, so talk it over with each local HVAC company to see what’s included in their maintenance plan.

How Often Should You Have Your Furnace Serviced?

Once a year is good. Twice a year is great! Service typically includes inspection and cleaning for each part of your furnace. Fall and spring (before and after winter) are the most opportune times to have your unit serviced. This will allow your professional to clear your furnace for winter use, then address any post season degradation and filth accumulated in the unit.

How Long does a Furnace Tune Up Take?

Closeup on an Air Filter

Dirty Filters Mean Tougher Times for Your Furnace. Clean Filters Provide More Efficient Functionality.

Tune ups may last anywhere from one to two hours. The time spent usually depends on the amount of cleaning that’s needed and how long it’s been since your furnace’s last checkup. This is the amount of time it should take to complete a detailed inspection. If your service man says he’s done in 15 minutes, either there’s no problems at all or they didn’t do the job right.

Schedule Your Heating Maintenance Visit Today!

The amount of preventative maintenance heating and cooling professionals can perform depends on how often homeowners schedule it. If a furnace has already broken down, there’s often very little an HVAC tech can do to prevent expensive repairs. So make sure you schedule consistently!

If you’d like to schedule heating system maintenance in Bonaire and Warner Robins, GA or another nearby city, call our team today at 478-960-5825! We’ll be happy to take an in-depth look at your furnace and clean it out for you.