Top Tips For Maintaining Your Gas Furnace

Gas furnaces are very easy to operate but they do require regular care and maintenance. Proper maintenance can reduce furnace repairs, maintenance costs, energy expenditure and spotty heating in your home. To catch any problems with the system, you should consider starting a furnace well ahead of winter for a test run. Any incipient problems like leaks, tears and blocked ducts will be visible immediately and can be repaired at once. As gas furnaces are simple to use, you can also evaluate the system yourself for damages by carrying out a thorough heating system inspection.   
Inspection and tuneup of your heating system: Here is what you can start with.

Shut down the system — Before starting any type of maintenance, make sure you turn off any electrical or gas connections for the furnace. All furnaces usually have a distinctive red switch that is located near the burner, near the fuel shutoff valve or the incoming gas pipe.

Clean the combustion chamber — Gas and air mix in the combustion chamber to produce heat required for the entire home. As a result, the combustion chamber is going to be filled with soot that will build up over time. If possible, let the chamber cool, then scrape out the soot with an industrial grade vacuum, and replace the cover.

Check the flue pipe — Gas furnaces have a flue pipe that vents CO outside the house. Over time, the metal pipe may develop holes that will leak CO into the house causing serious health problems. Small holes are patched with plumbing tape but badly rusted pipes need to be replaced completely. You should also check the flue pipe’s barometric damper that will then regulate the air entering into the chimney to heat the home.

Check and change the air filter — Ideally, air filters have to be changed every three months. During the winter, we recommend checking and changing the filters every month. This is because you and your family are breathing in air that comes only through the filter. This is easy but some filters are permanent and they have to be removed, washed, dried and then reinserted before the furnace can be turned on.

Adjust the heat — Gas furnaces need to be analyzed with a combustion analyzer to measure heating efficiency. Along with heating efficiency, it is also necessary to clean the fuel nozzle and then inspect the color and shape of the flame.

Check all vents and ducts — Vents and ducts may be clogged with dirt and debris. Floor vents in particular have to be cleaned out or vacuumed clean. Checking the ducting system is also a good way to locate leaks and blockages. We also recommend you check grills and make sure that they are free of blockages.

The bottom line
Regular inspection and tune-up of your heating system is essential but most homeowners do not really have the time and patience. As a result, it is a good idea to hire a professional contractor or firm to do the job. Contractors can be called in for a one-time visit or they may offer annual contracts. Annual contracts are the best, as the contract will involve yearlong testing of your heating and cooling systems, repairs, maintenance and cleaning of the entire home ventilation system for a set contract price. Not only is this affordable but it is a very sensible option for ensuring a warm home during the long winter months.

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