7 Tips for Maintaining a Central Heating System

Most of us take for granted the central heating system in our home. Each year as the cold season begins we turn on the furnace and expect it to perform perfectly as we expect it to. But when our furnace does not function properly and family members are required to pay a price for this, then we give it our attention. A central air heating system requires yearly maintenance. If you perform this maintenance on a regular basis, it will save on the wear your furnace. It will keep you and your family members warm and comfortable, and will also provide for a healthier and safer home environment. The following are several tips to guide you through your central heating inspection and maintenance.

Have Your Furnace Professionally Checked

Although you can do maintenance on your own furnace, a yearly safety checkup of your furnace by a professional is recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Check the Pilot Light

If you have a natural gas furnace, check the pilot light on your furnace to determine if the flame is lit and is the proper blue color. You will know you have a problem with your pilot light if the flame is largely orange or yellow.

Test Your Furnace

Before cool weather begins, turn your furnace on to determine if it is sending warm air through the vents and whether there are no other unfamiliar sounds, smells coming from it.

Change the Filter

Something that many home owners fail to do is to change their furnace filters. You should change yours at least once each year. If you live in a dusty area, or if there are other factors that could contribute to more dust in your home, you should examine your filter midway through the heating season to make sure the filter is still clean. A dirty filter can cause dust to be transmitted throughout your home. This could be a health risk for members of your family, particularly if a family member has problems with allergies or asthma. A dirty filter can also effect the efficiency of your furnace. A clean filter will contribute to a healthier environment as well as savings on your pocket book.

Clean Your Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger on your furnace should be thoroughly cleaned before the heating season begins. You can clean it by vacuuming it with the brush attachment of your vacuum and then cleaning the blower blades with a cloth or a toothbrush.

Check Ductwork

Turn your furnace on, so the air is blowing. Then, examine the metal ductwork to determine if there are any cracks or leaks from which air can escape. 

Lubricate Oil Ports

If your furnace is a new model, it will not be necessary for you to lubricate the oil ports. But if your furnace is an older model, you should lubricate them once a year. The oil ports are located by the motor shaft. You will need to remove the cover plate, then apply two to three drops of non-detergent motor oil into each port.