If your home has forced air (heat or air conditioning) then you have a furnace that needs to be regularly maintained. A professional HVAC company should thoroughly inspect your furnace at least once a year. To make things easier on yourself, be sure to have your HVAC company call you annually to remind you of this service. While your professional is inspecting the furnace, ask about full-duct cleaning (where they clean out all the ducts) and any other tips beyond typical DIY maintenance. It’s also a good time to purchase a year’s worth of filters as very often your service provider can offer a better price and it will save you the time searching for the correct size and type of filter. As we’ve mentioned before, label each filter with the date when you should replace the previous filter. Just like any project or task can be time consuming and costly, check out our tips for staying on top of your HVAC costs, here.
Aside from the professional HVAC service, there are many things you should be doing to ensure a properly functioning furnace and to protect your home and family. Here’s a list of easy to tackle DIY furnace maintenance tasks:
- Change the filter every 3 months
- Check the air vents throughout the house. Use a vacuum to clean out dust and debris and make sure they are not being blocked.
- Move any flammable materials at least 3 feet away from the air vents and don’t place heavy furniture on top of the vents.
- Do not place chemicals or other dangerous toxic products near the furnace or the air vents.
- Clean the furnace. Use a vacuum to remove debris and make sure the unit is clean.
- Check ducts for air leaks. If you notice or feel any air leaks you can use duct tape to seal the leaks. An HVAC professional should be called if you suspect air leaks – they can do a thorough assessment with specific machines used to detect leaks.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector. Having a properly functioning detector is a must if you have a furnace.
Like all major appliances, if you suspect that your furnace is making odd noises, has a lower performance, or you detect any unusual smells coming from the furnace or vents, call an HVAC professional right away to schedule a service.
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