5 Must-Know Gas Furnace Maintenance Tips

Furnace maintenance is all about being proactive. If you know how to effectively and simply clean your furnace system on a regular basis, you will be able to reduce professional maintenance fees, improve the longevity of your furnace, and keep your home comfortable all year long. Add these 5 must-know gas furnace maintenance tips to your home improvement maintenance routine for great results.

  1. The first step for maintaining your furnace is to remove the combustion chamber door. Before removal, you will need to flip the electric power switch off as a safety precaution. To take off the combustion chamber you will lift the door up and out and then remove the burner cover, if your system has one, by removing the two screws holding it in.
  2. The next step will be to assess the burner flames. You will need to turn the power switch back on and then turn up your thermostat in order to trigger the system to heat your home. Once it is on, you can inspect the flames. You are looking for the color of the flame first. It should be an even burn with a blue shade. If the flames are yellow in color, this may indicate a dirty burner. If this is the case, do not adjust or try to fix the burners yourself. Instead, call a professional to handle the situation properly. You can however clean the burners to see if this is causing the issue. First turn off the power again and shut off the gas by turning the valve. Use a vacuum to suck up any debris, dust or buildup on the burners or at the base of the furnace.
  3. Remove the blower cage so that it can be cleaned. Some systems will have a control panel in front of the blower, but this panel can easily be removed by loosening the screw that is attaching it and letting it hang off to the side while you work. Once you have access to the blower, you will need to use a socket and wrench ratchet to remove the bolts of the blower. Next, lift the blower out. You can then clean the blower thoroughly with a vacuum and a brush. Be gentle and careful as you do this since you don’t want to harm the wiring or counterweights on the fan blades.
  4. Change the filter for your furnace regularly. This should be done every 3 or so months for optimal results and a well maintained gas furnace. You can purchase an inexpensive fiberglass filter at your local hardware store, which will successfully and effectively be able to protect your furnace’s blower and blower motor.
  5. Continue cleaning a few other areas of the furnace including the pilot, flame sensor and hot surface igniters. To clean the pilot, blow any dust away using a straw. This will concentrate the air in hard to reach places for a deeper clean. Clearing away build up and debris will help prevent the pilot from providing false readings. Next, clean the sensors. Pull them out and gently clean the surfaces to remove any residue that may prevent the furnace from lighting if unattended. Finally clean off the hot surface igniters by using the air through a straw trick once again. When cleaning, do not touch the igniters. They are very delicate and can break very easily when tampered with.

Employing these helpful gas furnace maintenance tips will help to improve the longevity and effectiveness of your furnace for many years to come. Whether you haveĀ geothermal or traditional heating systems, regular maintenance is the key to keeping your furnace working smoothly to maintain your home’s comfortable temperature.

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