Keeping your furnace and heating system running efficiently will not only keep you comfortable, it will also help your home transition into cooler weather easier, too. Doing your own HVAC – furnace and heating system maintenance is simple, inexpensive and doesn’t take much time. As the weather starts to cool, this is the time to give it a yearly checkup! Follow these 7 steps, and if you notice major problems or have any issues, call to request a service pro to come out and fix it.
1. Shut ‘er Down
The first step is simple. Turn off the power and fuel supply. The power switch should be near the furnace, stairwell going down to a basement. To shut off the fuel supply, look for the value near the oil tank or gas pipe.
2. Clean the chamber
The combustion chamber is where the fuel is mixed with air, and the ignition process begins. This is where the heat is generated. Along with the heat, you’ll get water vapor, soot buildup and carbon dioxide. You’ll want to clean that out, before firing up the system again. Use a small wire brush to scrape the carbon soot buildup, and suck up the debris with a shop vacuum. If there is corrosion or you see holes, you’ll need to call a professional, and have it checked before turning the power back on.
3. Check the Flue
Right where the furnace and the pipe meet, you’ll want to check for holes. If carbon monoxide is leaking out, you could be setting yourself up for a dangerous situation. Make sure you have performed maintenance on your carbon monoxide detector, as well. If you spot holes, use foil tape to patch them up. Larger holes need professional help and replacement of the pipe might be needed.
4. Replace the filter
If you have an oil-powered system, you’ll have to replace the oil filter. These help stop clogs that can cause misfires and shut down your system. When you dispose of the old filter, check with your local hazardous-waste regulations to do it properly.
5. Change the air filter
Once a year, before Winter weather hits, change the air filter. When you breath in your home, the air passing through the filter is what you take in. This is an incredibly easy step, and very necessary.
6. Clean the floor vents
Remove the floor grates and vacuum out the ducts of your floor vents. When your floor vent is clogged or has excess hair, debris, food, etc. in it, you’ll need to turn up your heat to feel it. Vacuuming it out is quick and easy.
Taking care of your furnace and heating system will keep your home warm and house happy. These easy steps will help your system run much more efficiently and save you money down the line, too.