Basic Furnace Maintenance for the Winter Season

With this year’s winter being predicted as one of the coldest of the decade, it pays to have a well-maintained furnace or heating system in your home.

Most heating services in Indiana offer repair services for gas furnaces and electric heating systems. However, homeowners can follow these steps to make sure that their furnace is operating at top efficiency.

Before Anything, Turn Off Your Furnace

Always make sure that the furnace is not in operation when you conduct maintenance checks or troubleshooting. This may seem like common sense, but it’s always best to be reminded.

Aside from making sure the furnace’s power switch is flipped off, make sure that the switch connecting the furnace to the electrical breaker of your home is also switched off. This is to prevent any accidental ignition during maintenance.

To make your maintenance even safer, switch off the gas lines connecting to the furnace.

Clean the Combustion Chamber

The combustion chamber is where the fuel and the air ignite to create the fire that will heat up your home. This is also where most of the soot and build-up will be.

Once the combustion chamber is cool, use a wire brush to scrape out any soot and build-up in the chamber walls. Once most of the soot has been scraped off, use a vacuum cleaner with a long hose to clean out the furnace base of any loose particles. For hard to reach areas like the fan blades, reach in and wipe it down with a damp cloth.

Inspect the Flue Pipes

Flue pipes carry the hot air from the furnace to the ventilation system of your home. While a thorough inspection would require professional help, visual inspection of the outside of the flue pipes is recommended.

Make sure that the flue pipes have no holes, as these can leak carbon monoxide into your home. If you see a hole, patch it up with a piece of insulation pad and strong duct tape. For corroded flue pipes, immediately consult with a professional maintenance company.

Replace Air Filters

The air filters in a furnace make sure that all particulate matter like soot and dust are kept out of the ventilation system, leaving only hot air to circulate.

Fiberglass filters should be a sufficient filter for most home furnaces. High-efficiency filters might have too fine a mesh for warm air to flow out of the furnace, so it is best to avoid those kinds of filters. Replace air filters at least once a month, especially during winter.

Check Floor vents

Once you’ve cleaned out the chamber, checked the flue pipes, and replaced the air filter, it’s time to check if the hot air is circulating around your house. The floor vents are where the hot air enters your home. Keeping these clean and free of debris increases the efficiency of your furnace.

Always make sure that the vents are not blocked by furniture or any other item. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean out any dust and debris from inside the vent, and use a wire brush to scrape out any debris on the grates itself.

Even with basic maintenance, homeowners can make sure that their furnace is operating at safe and efficient levels. For better efficiency, however, it’s always best to have professionals check your home furnace system. Home Comfort Experts is equipped with both the best products and the best technicians to ensure that customers get topnotch service. Click here to find out more about our heating contractors and services.

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