How to keep your furnace running smoothly this winter.
Winter is coming, and you don’t want to be left in the cold with a malfunctioning furnace. A well-maintained furnace can keep your home warm and cozy, save you money on energy bills, and prevent costly repairs or replacements. Here are some things you can do to keep your furnace running smoothly this winter:
## 1. Change the filter regularly
One of the easiest and most important things you can do to maintain your furnace is to change the filter every 2-3 months, or according to the manufacturer’s guidelines¹. A dirty filter can reduce the airflow, make your furnace work harder, and lower the indoor air quality. A clean filter can improve the efficiency, performance, and lifespan of your furnace.
## 2. Clean the major components
Another thing you can do to keep your furnace in good shape is to clean the major components, such as the blower, the burners, and the heat exchanger². You can use a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner to remove dust, dirt, and debris from these parts. However, if you are not comfortable or familiar with the process, it is best to leave it to a professional HVAC technician.
## 3. Check the pilot or igniter
Depending on the type of furnace you have, you may have a pilot light or an electronic igniter that ignites the gas. You should check this part regularly to make sure it is working properly. If you have a pilot light, you should see a steady blue flame. If you have an electronic igniter, you should hear a clicking sound when the furnace starts. If you notice any problems with the pilot or igniter, such as a yellow flame, a weak flame, or no flame at all, you should call a professional for help.
## 4. Replace batteries
Some furnaces have battery-powered components, such as thermostats or carbon monoxide detectors. You should replace the batteries at least once a year to ensure they are working correctly³. A faulty thermostat can cause your furnace to run too much or too little, affecting your comfort and energy efficiency. A faulty carbon monoxide detector can put your safety at risk by failing to alert you of a potential gas leak.
## 5. Check the chimney for debris
Your furnace vents the combustion gases through a flue or a chimney. You should check this part regularly for any obstructions, such as leaves, snow, or animals⁴. A blocked chimney can cause backdrafts, which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning or fire hazards. You should also inspect the chimney for any cracks or leaks that could allow heat or gas to escape.
## 6. Fire it up!
Finally, before the winter season begins, you should test your furnace by turning it on and letting it run for a few minutes. You should check for any unusual noises, smells, or signs of trouble. If everything seems fine, you can enjoy the warmth and peace of mind that your furnace is ready for winter.