When those cold winter temperatures arrive outside your home, you are always glad your furnace is operating at peak efficiency to keep you and your family warm. However, if you don’t give your furnace some love and attention now and then, certain aspects of its maintenance can falter, leaving you and your family shivering on a cold winter night. To avoid this unpleasant scenario, here are some of the most common and easiest maintenance tips for your furnace.
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Check and Change the Air Filter
If there is one maintenance task that is easy for you to do with your furnace on a regular basis, it is to check and change its air filter. The filter in your furnace is responsible for keeping your home’s air quality at its best since the filter will trap dust, dirt, and other airborne particles that can make allergies or illnesses worse for you and all members of your family, even your dogs and cats.
If you check your air filter and it appears very dirty, take out the old one and replace it with a clean, new one. By doing so, your furnace’s motor will not have to work nearly as hard to get air through the filter, which will help extend its lifespan. The filter should be checked monthly and changed on an as-needed basis.
Clean the Furnace Vents
Along with not wanting your furnace’s air filter clogged, you also do not want to be dealing with blocked furnace vents in your home. Should your furnace’s ventilation be blocked with dirt or other types of debris, this can create a very dangerous situation that could lead to carbon monoxide being released into your home. If this occurs, you and your family will be dealing with a life-threatening situation. If you check your furnace vents and they are clogged, using your vacuum cleaner for a few minutes should do the trick.
Oil the Furnace Motor
Like any type of motor, your furnace motor has plenty of moving parts inside it that need to be able to move around as easily as possible. One of the smartest and easiest furnace maintenance tips you should do regularly is to oil the furnace motor. When doing so, keep in mind that you don’t need to empty the whole can of oil on your motor. Instead, give the motor only two or three drops of oil. Taking only a few seconds to do, this is a maintenance task you should only need to do as you prepare to start using your furnace over the fall and winter.
Clean Your Furnace
Since you clean everything else in your home, remember to do the same with your furnace. For example, before you oil your furnace’s motor, take a few minutes to clean off any dirt, grime, dust, or other stuff that has built up on it recently. Also, do the same with the blower since a clogged blower will mean your furnace will not work as efficiently as needed during the winter. Remember, dirt is probably the number one enemy of most furnaces. The more dirt is allowed to accumulate on your furnace, the more likely it is that the motor or other key components will break down.
Check the Control Valve
If you notice your furnace does not seem to be producing as much heat for your home as it should, you might want to take a look at its control valve. Usually located on or near your furnace’s supply line, always look to see if it is in the “on” position. If it’s not, the gas or oil needed for your furnace to operate can’t get into the furnace, meaning you and your family will be shivering needlessly on those cold days and nights.
If you have been intimidated by the thought of trying to maintain your furnace, it’s time to put your doubts aside and start using these simple and easy maintenance tips right away. Once you do, you’ll find it’s not that hard to keep your furnace in excellent condition. By taking some time to look over filters, blowers, motors, and other important components of your furnace, you’ll have peace of mind when it’s cold outside.