Furnace Maintenance Tasks You Can Do Yourself to Save on Repair Costs

It is the desire of every homeowner to increase their heating system efficiency, improve comfort, and at the same time save money. All these are realizable goals if you only follow some simple steps to keep your furnace in the best condition possible. Winters can be tough and your furnaces must be stronger to withstand the bashing of the cold. Furnace breakdowns during this season can be very costly and as such every single ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

There are some basic maintenance tasks which you can do on your own to keep your furnace in peak condition all through the winter season. The beauty is that these tasks will take you a few hours to accomplish, but can potentially save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Removing the Combustion Chamber Door

This chamber is usually held in place by two screws. Before you remove the chamber door, ensure the power from the mains is off. Then flip the electrical power switch to an off position and carefully lift up the combustion chamber door and pull it out. If the combustion chamber comes with a burner cover, remove it as well.

Inspecting the Burner Flames

Healthy heat pump flames should be blue in color and even. Before the inspection begins, switch on the power and turn up the thermostat to activate the burners. When inspecting the flames, take note of yellow flame colors. This type of flame is a pointer to dirty burners. Exercise caution not to breathe on the flames because doing so pumps out extra oxygen which can cause them to turn yellow. In case of a problem, don’t go ahead to adjust the burners yourself, instead call a HVAC professional.

Removing and Cleaning the Blower

The blower is secured in place by bolts. For you to clean it, you must first remove it by unbolting the nuts. If there is a control panel in front of the blower, loosen it by removing its two screws so that it can hang. Thereafter, use a 7/16-inch socket and a racket to remove the two bolts holding the blower and lift it out.

Start by cleaning the blower blades using a small brush and a vacuum. When doing so, pay particular attention to the wiring so as not to stress it or disturb the counterweights on the fan blades. If you are not conversant with blower cleaning, don’t attempt it because you may throw it off balance.

Changing the Furnace Filter

It is recommended that the furnace filter be changed at least once every 1 to 3 months. Filters are generally cheap but you also have the option of installing more expensive, but high efficiency filters. It is important to consult the manufacturer recommendations on the manual before changing the type of filters. This is because filters that are of high efficiency may restrict the air flow depending on the type of furnace thus straining the furnace blower motor making the whole unit inefficient.

Other tasks you can do include cleaning the flame sensor using fine emery cloth, inspecting the drivebelt, lubricating the bearings, adjusting dampers, and sealing leaky air ducts.

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