The icy freeze of winter is just around the corner. In the basement corner of your home might stand a furnace, which keeps your household cozy and toasty all winter long. This important heating system requires attention before winter to ensure it functions in tip-top shape throughout the biting chills of the season.
Benefits of Furnace Maintenance
Regular inspections help ensure free airflow; restricted airflow could shorten the furnace’s lifespan or prompt pricey repairs.
Since furnaces burn fuel to create heat, the process must function properly to sustain safety inside the home. Heating technicians check for gas leaks and any possibility of leaks of dangerous levels of carbon monoxide gases.
Keep the furnace running correctly all winter with furnace tune-ups and cleanings of the furnace burner and heat exchanger. A tune-up allows the heating technician to detect faults that could lead to costly repairs in the middle of subfreezing winter temps.
For less than $100, an annual furnace checkup by a heating technician can significantly save a homeowner from spiked energy costs and prevent expensive repairs.
Homeowners, too, can engage in furnace maintenance independent of hiring a professional.
Clean Out the Furnace
A furnace’s combustion chamber should be cleaned of the accumulated soot, water vapor and lingering carbon dioxide. First remove the combustion chamber door. Using a small wire brush, scrape off the soot along the chamber walls—the presence of soot can corrode the furnace walls. An industrial shop vacuum should be utilized to clear out any loose particles.
Vacuum dust out of the burners, at the base of the furnace and in the blower compartment. If soot is visible upon shining a flashlight into the furnace while it is open, the black particles give a clear indication of poor combustion.
Replace the cover after a thorough inspection for corrosion or holes.
Replace the Air Filter
The function of the air filter is to keep out particles from the HVAC, which in turn extends the heat system’s lifespan. The furnace air filter must be changed at least once a year prior to the cold season, or, ideally every month that the furnace is in heavy use. Changing the air filter is a simple task that any homeowner can perform.
Check the filter by removing it and holding it up to a light source. A filter that looks dirty or clogged should be immediately replaced, no matter how short or long the filter has been in use. Always use the right sized filter—or the furnace will fail to produce sufficient heat.
Vacuum Floor Vents
Another task homeowners can perform with ease is cleaning out the floor vents. Dust, pollen, pet hair and even food particles may lodge into the registers along the floors. The blockage reduces the heater’s efficiency, causing the homeowner to turn up the heat. Consequently, the homeowner is stuck with inflated heating bills. Plus, breathing clean air is worth the minimum effort. Clean the floor vents by first removing the registers and then suctioning out the debris inside the ducts with a vacuum.
Identify Valve Leaks
Homeowners can check for leaks around the furnace unit’s pipe connections or valves. When a leak is suspected, use a mixture of liquid detergent and water to determine if the leak is present. Apply the soapy mixture along the gas supply lines. Should the mixture start to bubble, a leak unquestionably exists.
Pipe connections or valves may be tightened with a pipe wrench. Be cautious to avoid over-tightening the connections. If the leak is still present after manually tightening the valves or pipe connections, consult a heating technician.
Inspect the Flue Pipe
Carbon dioxide can leak through holes in the furnace’s flue pipe. Examine the flue pipes for any noticeable holes. Upon identifying minor flaws in the pipe, seal them with foil tape. Heavily corroded flues must be replaced.
Check the Thermostat
The thermostat functions with secured wiring and a good battery. Make sure both are in place. A malfunctioning thermostat leads to issues with the fan and uncomfortable temperatures within the home. If the thermostat fails to work after ensuring the power source to the HVAC is powered on, consult a heating technician.
When the furnace starts acting up or does not perform at all, several issues could be at bay. A noisy furnace indicates trouble. Rumbling, rattling and squeaking signal either a mechanical issue, problems with proper airflow or a blocked burner. A furnace that has run in a home for many years may start to show signs of wear and tear, which can lead to overheating and glitches in the air flow; plus, a homeowner may no longer be able to adequately control the heat levels.
House fires may result from furnace-related issues or a lack of proper furnace maintenance. Whether the fire is minor or major, homeowners are advised to seek the services of a fire damage restoration professional in the immediate aftermath of the fire. ServiceMaster by Restoration Complete is a reputed fire damage restoration company with years of experience and safe, proven methods to reduce the effects of fire damage.
Skilled technicians from ServiceMaster by Restoration Complete arrive onsite within one to two hours of your call. Steps are swiftly taken to mitigate the effects of the fire. Included in routine services are emergency pre-cleaning, wall and ceiling cleaning, deodorization, and, if necessary, content cleaning and pack out.
Speed is critical when reacting to a fire. Even once the fire is extinguished, the aftereffects of the fire, including soot and smoke, continue to damage the surfaces upon which they cover. Permanent etching and tarnishing are two examples of the disastrous consequences of soot and smoke. The fire damage restoration experts at ServiceMaster by Restoration Complete utilize advanced chemical cleaners to halt the secondary damage caused by soot, smoke and corrosive byproducts.
ServiceMaster by Restoration Complete technicians are effective in stabilizing the damages spurred by fire and cleaning affected materials with quickness. Our dependable fire damage restoration team responds to calls 24 hours a day. We reliably serve the residential and business communities of Newark and Essex County, New Jersey.