Furnace Maintenance for Winter WarmthPosted: January 1, 2013
Labor Day has passed and so have the Dog Days of Summer. Your furnace has been hibernating for many months now and you will soon have to wake it up from its long slumber. The first frost will come with haste and before you know it you’ll have to keep your home warm and toasty for the duration of winter. Furnace maintenance can be a long, arduous, and expensive endeavor. Many people make the mistake of ignoring furnace maintenance, eventually incurring costly repairs after mechanical issues have surmounted.
Before calling a technician or professional to examine your furnace, take a few easy and inexpensive precautions that can guarantee furnace longevity in the winter. First, replace your furnace filters before cranking up the heat. Chances are you haven’t changed the filter since the previous winter and that at least some sort of clogging has occurred. Clogging results in greater energy expenditure by the furnace as it works harder to pump out warm air through obstructed filters. This will jack up the price of your heating bill and keep your house colder than desired. Most importantly, furnace technicians implore that the homeowner change filters since clogging is a major fire and carbon monoxide hazard. If you smoke cigarettes or own a pet keep in mind that your filters will clog at a much faster rate during the winter. In addition to changing filters, make sure the blower belt in the furnace is not loose, frayed, or damaged. Replacing these can be exorbitantly expensive and may prevent heating for a number of days while it’s getting fixed. Experts recommend adding a small amount of oil to the blower motor to ensure optimal furnace performance and efficiency.
Not all winter furnace maintenance precautions require you to dig through endless cobwebs in your basement furnace room. Simply checking vents throughout your home is an easy maintenance routine that doesn’t require much exertion. Look to see that furniture, clothing, and other contraptions aren’t blocking vents throughout the house. This effectively insures that warm air will infiltrate your home through all of the possible openings.
Lastly, it is important to have your furnace serviced by a trusted technician on a yearly basis if possible. Schedule an appointment sooner rather than later, as technicians will soon become busy with furnace tune-ups for the impending winter. This will prevent the inconvenience of running into a furnace malfunction during a Nor’Easter or harrowing cold spell. Make sure to ask for a report that includes status checks for the blower belt, motor, burner, filtration system, and other controls. Keep in mind that furnace maintenance for winter warmth is a necessary precaution that reduces costs and keeps you and your family safe.