Fall is here, Edmonton! With winter right around the corner, it is time to get that HVAC system working again. For gas furnaces to last their expected lifetimes, they need to be serviced regularly and properly. In fact, an annual maintenance and checkup of the furnaces is extremely important for all heating systems.
It reduces the chances of a malfunction, unwanted costs, and inconveniences. Taking proper care of your furnace is the only way to avoid spending on it every season. Regular maintenance also ensures that your equipment doesn’t break in the middle of winter, when it can end up costing much more in terms of inconvenience and emergency repairs.
Although the processes are not very complicated to go around. Service and installation should only be performed by HVAC experts – here in Edmonton, we have Acclaimed! Heating, Cooling & Furnace Cleaning – that will come equipped with a checklist to thoroughly check your system before you can turn it back on.
But even so, to protect your system from unforseen malfunctions, we have some maintenance tips that will ensure a healthy functioning for your furnace:
Ensure you are working under safe conditions
Warning: Working with gas appliances is extremely hazardous as it can strike anytime. Ensure that you exercise extreme caution while working with them. Before cleaning the furnace, ensure the power system and any circuits connecting to the furnace are off. Check for gas leakage, and stay away from the furnace, open windows, and call a professional. Only proceed with the cleaning when you are satisfied it is safe.
- Clean/Replace the Filter System
The filter is a major component of any heating or cooling system as it prevents dirt from entering the system. It is recommended that furnace filters be cleaned or replaced depending on the usage. The trapped debris, dust, and dirt can choke the airflow and reduce the efficiency of the system. Replace the filter if it is entirely clogged, otherwise a simple cleaning would suffice.
- Keep a Check on the Thermostat
If the room temperature doesn’t feel like the one shining on the thermostat, chances are that the thermostat has some problem. This is common if it has been in use for many years. A simple fix is to replace the thermostat, and keep an eye on it to ensure it is in proper condition.
- Clean the Blower
The step that follows cleaning up the filter system, is checking up on the blower assembly. The blower is the component after the air filter. Some dust and dirt that penetrates the filter accumulates on the blower, pulleys, and belts. Thus, they require a thorough cleaning with a damp cloth. The blower assembly is accessible after removing the panels that cover the filter.
- Clean/Repair Furnace Ducts
Forced-air furnaces can result in damaged ducts. A good vacuuming of the ducts is enough to clean them thoroughly. Make sure that you check for leakages and cover all the ducts properly to make it airtight.
- Clean the Sensors and Ignitors
The flame sensor should only be cleaned with 0000 fine steel wool. Do not use emery cloth or sandpaper, because it leaves silica in the sensor rod, which turn it into an insulator. In case your furnace has a spark ignitor, make sure to clean it with fine steel wool as well. Clean each burner with the help of a wire brush.
- Clean the Vents
Gas furnaces require a venting system. Dust and debris can accumulate over time and at some point block the ventilation. Blocked ventilations are extremely dangerous and pose a safety hazard for the users inside. Remove the vent cover, and with a large brush, clean up all the vents. Use a vacuum cleaner if required.
- Fan Inspection
Fans can be overlooked in this process. To avoid any problems, a thorough inspection is necessary. The fan components should be checked carefully for any dents, or breaks. In case of accumulated dust and debris, a simple damp cloth will be enough to clean it up.
Cleaning and maintaining a gas furnace is not a humongous task. While a furnace should be repaired by a professional, you can maintain a whole lot of it yourself. It does not have to be very expensive to maintain a gas furnace, and it isn’t. With proper investment in your current furnace, chances are that you might not have to buy another one for another decade.