Your Homeowner’s Guide to Furnace Upkeep

bigstock-Plumber-fixing-gas-furnace-40351003-400x363Most HVAC contractors will recommend you get your furnace checked up before you need to turn on in the fall. While having a technician look at your system is always something we recommend, it’s good to have a basic understanding of your furnaces and things to look for.

Here are some tips on what to do BEFORE a contractor comes to your home:

  • Change your filters regularly. Clogged filters account for most of the problems with a residential furnace. By changing them on a regular basis you eliminate the chance that your heater will break down when you need it most.

NOTE: If you have reusable filters, make sure you are washing them on a regular basis.

  • Make sure you’ve switched your thermostat over to HEAT mode. If you turn your home up to 75 degrees, it won’t do you any good if your system is still on A/C mode.
  • Remove any Flammable items near your furnace.

When your HVAC technician comes to your home, here are the general things they will look for: (Keep in mind, every company has different scopes AND prices)

  • Inspecting your thermostat to make sure it is operational. Sometimes problems that come off as your furnace acting up could be contributed to your thermostat.
  • Inspecting and possibly replacing your furnace filters.
  • Inspecting system controls and electrical cables
  • Inspecting your heat exchanger for cracks. Cracks in your heat exchanger can be very dangerous and can lead to leakage of C02 (carbon monoxide).
  • Inspecting Air Flow

To ensure that your system gets proper care year round, talk to your HVAC technician about getting involved in a maintenance plan. They can often get you moved up on the call sheet and some companies provide discounts to their club members.