Most furnaces and heating equipment are designed to last for decades. But improperly maintaining your furnace can cut its lifespan by years. Having your furnace and its surrounding equipment checked on a regular basis is usually inexpensive, and can prevent expensive repairs, replacements, and potentially lower your heating bills. Below, we offer six furnace maintenance tips that will keep you from burning a hole in your pocket with avoidable furnace repairs and heating costs.
Six Furnace Maintenance Tips for Reducing Repair and Heating Costs
1. Regularly Check Your Furnace’s Air Filter
An air filter reduces the level of dust, pollen, and other airborne annoyances that cycle through your home, meaning they eventually become clogged with various substances. Most filters have a visual indicator that tells when they should be changed, such as a line that can no longer be seen. Regularly changing your air filter will do more than preserve air quality; it will also keep your furnace from overworking itself by pushing air past a clogged filter.
2. Have Your Ductwork Checked for Leaks
New ductwork is sealed so that no air escapes from it. But over time, central heating ductwork can slowly lose its seal and let warm air escape into wall and ceiling spaces instead of pushing it toward your living spaces. Having your ducts resealed is usually inexpensive. But letting them develop larger leaks could result in costly utility bills.
3. Have Your Furnace’s Flue Pipe Checked for Leaks
Similar to ductwork, many furnaces eventually experience leaks where their flue pipe connects to their main unit. To detect leaks, a smoke pencil is usually the tool of choice. If you detect leaks, seal them with a sealant designed for minor duct leaks, or call a heating technician if the leakage is more severe.
4. Regularly Check Your Furnace’s Blower Unit
A furnace’s blower unit is its busiest part, and contains parts that need regular checking and service. When checking you blower unit, clean all dirt and debris form its housing, motor, fan blades, condensation drain, and condensation lines. In addition, add some oil to the motor’s oil ports, and inspect the fan belt for cracks, replacing it if it has them.
5. Regularly Observe Your Thermostat’s Readings
An easy way to ensure that your heat system is functioning properly is to observe whether your thermostat’s temperature setting is reflected or nearly reflected by its thermometer. If you have to set your thermostat to a high temperature to achieve a lower one, call a heating technician to inspect your furnace, thermostat, and ducts.
6. Have a Heating Technician Service Your Equipment Once a Year
Even you performed the aforementioned checks and inspections on your own, it’s still a good idea to have a central heating systems technician inspect your heating equipment in the event you missed something important that could lead to problems down the road.