A home gas furnace is without doubt a clean and energy efficient way to heat your home. It is important to conduct regular maintenance checks in order to maintain optimum energy efficiency and safety for you and members of your household. Routine maintenance will ensure your furnace will work properly and provide warmth and comfort of your home in a safe, healthy manner. The following 4 tips provide you with the information you need for a furnace maintenance program:
Tip 1 - Replace your Filter
Replace your furnace filter at least three or four times during the year. If the filter appears to be in good condition, you can just clean it. A filter that has become clogged with dust will not perform well so be sure to keep it clean at all times. Your filter will use less energy, keep dust levels in your home at a minimum and reduce natural gas consumption and cost.
You will typically find your filter just inside the front furnace door. If your filter is plastic, all you will need to clean it is to use a vacuum cleaner. After vacuuming, wash the filter with soap and water, rinse and allow it to dry thoroughly before re-inserting it in the furnace. You should avoid running your furnace without a filter and be sure you clean your filter during warmer months, when you are not using it.
If your furnace has a cardboard or fiberglass filter, you will need to purchase a new filter and discard the dirty filter. Cardboard of fiberglass filters are relatively inexpensive and should be replaced often.
If your furnace has an electronic air filter, follow the maintenance instructions that come with the filter. Every filter works a little differently, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Remember that a dirty and inefficient filter can create a dangerous build-up of toxic carbon monoxide. This odorless and colorless gas in a properly functioning furnace is normally carried away by the furnace’s venting. In a malfunctioning furnace, it can cause serious illness and even death.
Tip 2 - Have your Furnace Professional Cleaned and Checked
Once a year, have your furnace inspected by a service professional. They should look for cracks within the furnace that may allow carbon monoxide into the home. In addition, he will check your filter and perform useful maintenance, such as lubricating the furnace's motor and bearings.
Tip 3 - Keep Areas near your Furnace Clean
In order to keep your furnace running efficiently, it is important that you keep the area around your furnace free from obstructions. Do not store anything around your furnace. Also, do not store anything that is combustible within six inches of your vent pipe. Combustible items are items like firecrackers, gasoline and other similar chemicals.
Tip 4 - Don’t Close Too Many Air Registers
If you close air registers in your home, be sure you limit these closed vents to no more than 20% of all vents. Closing more than 20% can cause a heat buildup in the furnace and it ducts.