3 Tips To Help Keep Your Furnace In Top Shape
When the temperatures dip and it starts to get chilly outside, you want to make sure that the interior of your home is welcoming and cozy. Taking care of your furnace is a key part of this. Becoming aware of its regular noises is a good way to orient yourself to how well your heater is performing. You should also note temperature differences throughout your home when you run your furnace, as this can provide important clues about its performance. While professional repairs are sometimes necessary, there are things that you can do at home in order to keep your furnace in good running condition. Here are three tips to help keep your furnace in top shape.
Use a straw to keep dust away from the pilot light.
Your pilot light provides clues about your furnace's performance. Under good conditions, the pilot light should be a steady, small yellow tongue of flame with a wreath of blue. If there is an uneven mixture of chemicals or an obstruction, then the pilot light appears to be a wavering, sickly yellow flame. You can help keep dust and grime from clogging your pilot light by using a drinking straw to blow dust away from it. Be careful to blow the dust gently away from the flame, and do not blow in its direction, or else you may blow it out.
Change or wash the air filter every few weeks.
The air filter helps to keep your heater's ducts clean, therefore sparing your home from dust and grime that travels through the vents. The air filter needs to be replaced or washed every few weeks, especially when you are running your furnace frequently. Pleated paper air filters should be replaced by ones of the same size and ideally the same brand. Permanent filters should be washed with mild soap in warm water and left to dry flat. They may also be washed in the dishwasher as long as the heating cycle is off.
Have a maintenance service call once a year.
You should have an HVAC specialist (such as one from Allied Air Conditioning & Heating Corp) out to service your heater once a year, ideally before temperatures start to dip in the autumn. This yearly service call allows the specialist to identify any underlying issues with your furnace that you might not have been able to identify otherwise. While it may seem strange to have a specialist out when you do not know of any overt problems with your heater, having a yearly visit will save you money in the event a very large, costly repair comes to the fore.