Your furnace could potentially breakdown this winter, leaving you in the cold, but this could be prevented with a little bit of maintenance and elbow-grease on your part. Nobody wants to come home to find that their furnace is suddenly not working, or wake up in the middle of the night freezing and realize that your furnace is broken. Get to work troubleshooting your furnace, giving it a good inspection and paying attention to signs that a breakdown is imminent.
See below for some tips to help keep your gas furnace in great shape all winter long.
Install A New Air Filter
Change the air filter in your system with a new one. A dirty air filter can cause improper air flow to your furnace, which can lead to a premature breakdown. This is a cheap and easy maintenance task that could end up as a costly mistake if you need to have your furnace repaired. You can find new air filters at your local hardware store, big box store or at an HVAC supply store.
Give Your Furnace A Good Cleaning
Clean out your furnace by turning off the system and vacuuming it with a shop vacuum and extension hose. Open up the panels and vacuum the dust and debris that builds up in between seasons (or throughout the season). If you have a lot of dust and dander in your home even after changing the air filter, it could be due to the dust inside your system.
Also clean your vents, as they can also have a good amount of dust and dander inside that is blowing and re-circulating around your home. Use the vacuum to get inside the vents, or hire a professional to have your ventilation system cleaned out completely. They have the right tools to get this job done properly.
Have Your Furnace Inspected
You should have your furnace inspected by a professional HVAC technician in between seasons (before the winter season begins) to be sure your system is in good working order. A technician will lubricate areas that need lubricating and can spot a problem before it becomes a bigger issue for you.
Look For Warning Signs
Warning signs to look for with your furnace include short-cycling, which is when your system turns on and back off immediately without actually reaching temperature. Your furnace not turning on at all when needed (or not turning off after the temperature is reached). Also, any odd smells in your home is also a cause for concern.
If you smell gas or if the carbon monoxide detector in your home goes off, it could be an issue with your furnace. Call a professional HVAC technician if you notice any of these signs.
Prevent a breakdown of your gas furnace this winter season by keeping a close eye on your system. Hire a professional HVAC company for help diagnosing and making repairs to your system.