What Should I Know About Furnace Maintenance This Fall?

October 24, 2019 4:07 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Winter is coming, and the demands on your furnace are about to increase. The best way to avoid a chilly home and furnace repair in Central Kansas is with regular maintenance. Fortunately, not everything your furnace needs must be provided by a professional. Here are five elements to check on your furnace so you can make minor repairs or know when it is time to call a heating technician:

  • Check burner flames: Before you start with any inspection, shut off the electrical switch to your furnace. Open the combustion door by lifting up and pulling out. Once you complete that, you can check the burner flames. Turn the electrical switch on and turn up the thermostat until there is a flame. If the flame is even and blue, all is well. If not, call in a technician.
  • Vacuum and clean: Dust accumulation can compromise the burners and make heating uneven or nonexistent. You can reduce the chances of failure by vacuuming all those dust bunnies out of the furnace. Switch the power off and put the appropriate hose attachment on your vacuum. Vacuum wherever you see dust, but especially around the flame area. Use a flashlight and see if there is soot buildup near the back. Soot indicates combustion issues and requires the attention of a technician. If you do not see soot, continue vacuuming the blower compartment.
  • Change filters: New filters are often part of a furnace maintenance package, but if your furnace does not require any other attention, that could be an expensive visit for a very simple service. Most furnace filters are accessible and easy to change. Purchase the filter at your hardware store; less expensive fiberglass filters are sufficient. Find the old filter and switch it out. This step protects your blower and blower motor and avoids more expensive repairs. You should change your filter every one to three months. If you have a large household or pets, consider changing it at least once a month.
  • Clean pilots and flame sensors: Dirty pilots can prevent your furnace from lighting completely. This reduces efficiency, and you will likely notice the difference with higher utility bills and a colder house. Use canned air to clean flame sensors. You want to have concentrated air near the sensors to ensure they are clean.
  • Check belts: If your furnace has belt-driven blowers, the belts need occasional replacement. You can better prepare for that by replacing belts before they break and cause a heating failure. Check belts for cracks or fraying. If you see these issues with your blower belt, replace the belt and adjust tension so it deflects ½ to ¾ of an inch. New belts are inexpensive, much like vacuum cleaner belts, so this is a small step to avoiding big repair bills.

KVK Inc. is a locally owned and operated HVAC service that specializes in furnace repair and maintenance in Central Kansas. If you are having heating trouble even with these efforts, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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