Filters that become clogged up can reduce airflow and cause overheating, so it is wise to switch out your filter every month in order to maintain cleanliness.
Keep flammable items away from your furnace to reduce fire hazards. Paint, thinners and oils pose significant fire risks that must be kept far away from any equipment that uses heat.
Before opening your furnace's front panel and pulling out its blower fan, double check that its electrical power has been disconnected.
Check the Air Filter
Home furnace air filters protect blower fans and heating coils by filtering out dirt and debris that could otherwise clog their components, like blower fans and heating coils.
Basic disposable fiberglass models usually feature MERV (Miligrams per square meter) ratings of two or three, while more costly reusable electrostatic pleated types improve indoor air quality by trapping bacteria, mildew spores, mold spores and other pollutants. You can visit this site to learn more about the health effects of mildew spores.
No matter which filter type is in place, they should be changed regularly to maintain smooth airflow and prevent obstruction that reduces efficiency or causes overheating of your furnace. A good place to look is either near your furnace itself, in its return air duct or inside an indoor unit like utility closet, basement or attic space.
Be sure to turn off power to your furnace and open any necessary access panels in order to reach the filter (you may require a screwdriver for this step). When replacing it, take note of which way its arrow points when inserting the new filter - this ensures a snug and appropriate fit.
Check the Thermostat
By scheduling regular furnace maintenance, you can both reduce the need for costly repairs and extend its lifespan. Though maintenance and repairs are distinct processes, they're closely interlinked - more maintenance will lead to reduced repairs and replacement needs while less will result in increased issues.
Start by switching on your thermostat and listening for any sounds it makes when sending signals to turn on your furnace. If none can be heard, this could indicate that there's an issue with its operation that needs addressing immediately; replacement could be necessary in this instance. Alternatively, you can utilize the professional expertise of a reputable local company such as ITAK Heating & Cooling to help you in this process. Reputable professionals will never push you for more extensive work than is necessary.
ITAK Heating & Cooling
Lower Level, 5027 Industrial Rd Unit 6, Wall Township, NJ 07727
Once your thermostat has power, open its cover and inspect all wires carefully for loose connections or loose ends. Tighten loose wires as necessary. Check that the furnace burner flame is blue - yellow indicates dirtiness that needs cleaning; or pour water down its condensate drain line to see if it's blocked up.
Check the Pilot Light
A pilot light is an integral component of your furnace that needs to remain lit to remain functional. If it goes out, however, you will likely need to relight it; before doing so, though, referring to your manual for specific instructions on how to do so can make life much simpler.
First, ensure the gas is turned off by turning the valve to its "off" position and waiting a few minutes for any residual gases to dissipate. You should also open any windows or doors for ventilation purposes.
Locate the pilot light assembly on your furnace. It should be located on the front cover panel and have an easy-open door. A healthy pilot flame should have blue with yellow tint at its tip; any differences could indicate there's dirt or rust build-up inside its tube.
Check the Vents
As soon as winter storms hit, it is imperative that air intake and exhaust vents be carefully evaluated.
Blocked vents could easily result in overheating of your furnace; to ensure smooth functioning, ensure all debris, leaves or animal nests have been cleared away and remove any snow buildup around them before using shovels or snow blowers near them - it may be best to clear by hand to protect the pipe itself.
Keep these areas tidy to help your furnace function at peak performance and avoid expensive repairs down the line.
Avoid placing paints or household cleaners near vents as these could release volatile compounds which cause carbon monoxide poisoning in your home. Furthermore, it would be prudent to have carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your residence for added peace of mind.