Furnace Maintenance Tips for Winter

What is the most critical component to prevent a freezing house in the winter? Your furnace. You need your furnace to function at its best when it’s cold outside. If you don’t maintain your furnace, it can break down during the coldest times when you need it most. 

If the technician finds your furnace wearing down due to a lack of furnace maintenance in St.Charles, it could also be difficult to make a claim with your insurance company, and you will be responsible for the costs of any damages incurred due to a breakdown.  

Here are some tips to maintain your furnace this winter and prevent issues due to the cold. 

You need your furnace to function at its best when it’s freezing outside. Source

You should always have furnace maintenance done before the start of the winter season if you want to avoid an unpleasant breakdown on a freezing, cold night. 

You can prepare your furnace for winter in the following ways:

  • Take a good look at your furnace before you do anything. All tubes, such as drainage tubes, must be securely fastened. Smell around the gas line of the furnace. If you smell rotten eggs, it means your furnace is leaking gas. 
  • Make sure the furnace’s drainage tube is clear. If it gets clogged, water can fill the manifold, a metal pipe that sends gas from the main gas valve to the burners,  and the flame sensor will cause a system shutdown. 
  • Inspect the thermostat wires once the power to the furnace has been shut off and the doors removed. Pull the wires slightly to make sure they are correctly fitted and tight enough. 
  • Make sure the inner components of the furnace are free of dust and dirt. Use a soft-tipped paint brush to remove debris from the interior. Once you’ve finished brushing, remove the loose dirt with a vacuum. 
  • The furnace’s flame sensor also needs to be cleaned regularly. In a gas furnace, it can stop the furnace from working, so this needs to be cleaned once a year. You need to unscrew the sensor from the furnace and then clean it with an emery cloth. Call a professional if you are unsure how to do this safely. 
  • Ensure there are no obstructions near the furnace, and that there is ample space around the unit.  
  • Remember that your furnace might not be able to warm your home entirely up to the temperature you want during freezing weather. Wear warmer clothes or cozy up under a blanket instead of turning up your thermostat. 

Changing Your Filter

A dirty filter can cause you major furnace problems. First, it can put additional strain on the fan motor by restricting airflow, making the motor burn out. This will cause your system to overheat and fail. A dirty filter can also increase your utility bill if your fan motor has to work harder. Finally, it can reduce your air quality indoors, which is a health risk for people who suffer from allergies and asthma. 

Most filters should be replaced once every one to three months, unless the manufacturer instructs otherwise. If you have smokers or pets in your household, you will probably have to do it more often. 

When Should You Have Your Maintenance Done?

It’s essential to have your furnace inspected before it gets cold outside. Ideally, you will have your system checked every fall. You could even find that your manufacturer’s warranty requires yearly maintenance for coverage. It’s also possible that your warranty won’t cover repairs resulting from a lack of maintenance.

Final Thoughts

Regular maintenance is essential to prevent a shorter lifespan of your furnace. You can do some of the more straightforward checks yourself, but get a professional to do a thorough inspection once a year, or if you suspect something serious might be wrong with your furnace. 

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