Simple Ways to DIY Furnace Maintenance This Season
Furnace maintenance is a can’t-skip service. We recommend annual cleanings and inspections to keep your system running in top condition, help prevent breakdowns, and save on energy bills. And while nothing compares to a professional Clean & Check, there are three simple ways you can DIY some of your furnace maintenance this season. Keep reading to see what the Tom’s Heating Service pros suggest you do before winter is in full swing.
NOTE: Before beginning any maintenance, make sure you turn off power to your system. There should be a switch on the side of the furnace. Otherwise, check your circuit breaker and switch off the appropriate breaker.
Replace or Clean Your Air Filter
A dirty air filter makes your furnace work overtime to keep you comfortable because air doesn’t pass through as easily. This extra effort can cause breakdowns and reduce its lifespan. A dirty air filter also means poor air quality because it’s not able to capture additional airborne pollutants.
If you’re using a disposable filter, replace it once every three months or when it appears dark gray or black in color. To do this, simply take off your filter cover (if applicable), remove the existing filter, and insert your new filter in the same direction as the one you’re replacing. If you have a media or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, remove it and replace it or follow instructions for cleaning—usually every six months to a year.
NOTE: Installing the wrong filter size or type can severely damage your system. Ask our pros or someone at your local hardware store for assistance if you aren’t sure which one you need.
Vacuum Inside the Furnace Cover
Another simple maintenance task is vacuuming in and around your furnace. Remove the furnace cover and use a vacuum hose and attachment to carefully vacuum any loose dirt, dust, and debris from the base of the furnace, gas burners, and other crevices you can reach. You should also vacuum the tops of ducts, pipes, and conduit that lead into your system. Then clean the floor around your furnace so that dust doesn’t make its way inside. While vacuuming, make sure you don’t dislodge any wires or other important connections that could cause trouble. If you do, just give us a call—we’d be happy to help you reconnect it or stop by to fix it.
Don’t Forget These Miscellaneous Tasks
In addition to the tasks listed above, there are some miscellaneous details you should remember to do:
- Replace batteries in your carbon monoxide detector to alert you in the event of a leak. If your thermostat uses batteries, be sure to change those as well.
- Keep at least three feet of clearance around your system to reduce your chance of fire hazards.
- Vacuum air registers and return vents throughout your home to get rid of dust and make sure they’re clear of any blockages, like furniture, boxes, toys, or other items.
Not Into DIY? Schedule Furnace Maintenance Today
We know a lot of homeowners prefer to leave their home comfort to the pros—if you’re one of them, call us. Our furnace maintenance ensures all components of your system are inspected, cleaned, and adjusted as needed. If we see something is worn out, we’ll recommend a repair or replacement and take care of it ASAP, often on the spot if the fix is simple. You can also sign up for our maintenance agreement to ensure you never miss an annual cleaning again, whether you have a Carrier® system or another brand. Simply call 262-548-1300 or contact us today.