You should maintain your gas furnace every season to prolong its life and keep it working properly. Here are some furnace maintenance tasks you can do yourself, but you can always hire a professional if you don’t feel comfortable doing them:
- Ensure Your Safety First – Before doing furnace maintenance, shut off the gas supply and power it off to prevent accidents. The gas line is typically connected to the furnace in a black pipe and has a shut-off valve nearby. The power switch can be found on the side of the furnace – if not, shut off the appropriate breaker at the electrical panel.
- Clean the Furnace Interior – Open the furnace door and clean all crevices and inner components of dust and debris with a soft-tipped paint brush. Then, vacuum out the base of the furnace, the gas burners, and inner components using a vacuum cleaner with a long snorkel attachment.
- Check the Thermostat Wires – Once you’ve shut off the power to the furnace and opened its door, pull the furnace wires slightly to ensure they’re tight and properly fitted.
- Replace the Air Filter – The filter traps dirt and dust, maintaining the efficiency of the furnace. Check and change the air filter monthly during the heating season, but read the manufacturer’s instructions on how often to change the filter.
- Clean the Blower – Located just behind the air filter, the blower can accumulate dirt and dust that penetrates through the air filter. To clean the blower, first remove it (unscrew the two bolts that keep it in place) and carefully clean the blower blades with a small brush, as well as the blower assembly with a damp cloth. Vacuum the dirt and dust once you’ve brushed off the blower.
- Check the Drive Belt – This component can get too loose or suffer fraying, glazing or cracks. Check it for damage and ensure it feels tight but not too loose (it should deflect ½ to ¾ inches when pushing down in the center of the belt). If it’s extra loose or damaged in any way, replace it.
- Clean the Flame Sensor – Over time, residue builds up on the flame sensor which may stop the furnace from working. Pull down the sensor from its bracket and clean it carefully with a fine emery cloth. Place it back into its bracket once it’s clean.
- Clean the Furnace Ducts – As dust and dirt accumulate in the furnace ducts, it should be cleaned to keep the furnace working at maximum efficiency. Professional duct cleaning is your best bet at cleaning out your ducts thoroughly.
Follow these furnace maintenance tips and you’ll save yourself some expenses if your furnace stops working during a cold winter night! Check out additional home heating safety tips and electric heater safety rules just in case. For professional smoke remediation or fire damage repair, contact your local PuroClean office.