Do you know the state of your furnace? Having your furnace inspected by a pro is more important than you realize. An inspection ensures that your entire system is running efficiently so it won’t break down during the coldest months of the year when you’ll need your furnace most! Preventing system breakdowns and other problems before they arise also results in energy and cost savings.

HVAC technician Joseph took us behind-the-scenes on a furnace inspection at a home in Sandy Springs, GA, where the homeowner is part of the Friends of Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing Maintenance Plan. During the visit, he offered insightful furnace maintenance tips.

Step 1:

First, Joseph turned on the thermostat to make sure the system was working properly and that the thermostat triggered the furnace. Helpful hint: During the winters, keep your thermostat on 68 degrees for lower energy bills.

Step 2:

The air filters were inspected for cleanliness to determine if they needed to be replaced. Typically, a normal household system has one filter; a system over 4-tons has 2 filters. If the filter is clogged with dirt and debris, it needs to be replaced by a new clean filter. Helpful Hint: Replacing filters once a month improves air quality, resulting in fewer allergies and respiratory distress. Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing technicians always bring extra air filters on service calls, so they’re ready to replace dirty air filters for you at no extra charge.

Step 3:

Joseph used a meter tool to measure the voltage and to see if the motors were working properly and not overworking, which could cause permanent damage to the motor. Measuring the voltage will catch this and other warning signals that could result in a system breakdown.

Step 4:

Joseph checked to make sure carbon monoxide in the flue pipes was properly vacuumed away from the home. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct produced in gas and oil furnaces and if it is not properly ventilated outside of the home, it could be toxic to your health.

Step 5:

Joseph then checked the flame sensor for cleanliness and removed the build-up with sandpaper. The sensor is a thin metallic rod that sits in front of the flame stream when the furnace is running and notifies the system that there’s a flame present while the gas is running. If there is no flame detected, the sensor shuts down the system to prevent gas from leaking. Dirty sensors can misread and shut down units in error.

Step 6:

The blower wheel was visually inspected to ensure it wasn’t filled with debris, which can hinder airflow.

There were many more steps to the furnace checkup but these were only a few very important ones. After the inspection, Joseph gave us a few more pointers about ductwork: Typically, he said, if ducts have been sealed correctly the first time, they’ll last up to 20 years without any problems. However, if the ductwork is in bad condition, it won’t deliver proper airflow or produce evenly distributed air. Hot and cold spots in the home are often a result of poor ductwork. Although ductwork inspection is not included in a furnace inspection, it is a service that Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can provide and repair if needed.

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