No matter what kind of heating system your home has, it needs regular maintenance to keep working. You might have an electric furnace, gas furnace, or heat pump, but they all need annual maintenance from a professional as well as ongoing maintenance from you.
While it is essential for a professional to perform preventative maintenance by servicing the parts, it is equally important for the professional to clean your furnace, and for you to keep it clean throughout the season. Here are heating system maintenance steps for keeping your furnace clean.
Maintain The Blower
The blower fan is an important part of your heating system because it distributes warm air throughout your home. If the fan doesn't spin, your house will get cold. One problem that interferes with the way your blower works is when it gets dusty. Dust can build up on the blower fins and around the base and make the blower wheel hard to spin. If the blower doesn't spin freely, less air is blown through your home.
Cleaning the blower is a job that's usually left for a heating system maintenance professional since your furnace has to be opened up and the blower taken out for cleaning. The blower may need to be cleaned twice each year. This is commonly done before the furnace is turned on in the fall and again before the air conditioner is turned on in the spring since the AC and furnace both use the same blower.
The best way you can keep the blower clean during the winter season is to change the filter regularly so dust is caught and kept from entering the furnace where the blower is located. You might need to change the filter in your furnace about once a month when your heater runs daily.
Clean The Ignition Area
Another area the heating system maintenance technician needs to clean is the ignition area. Parts in this area get covered with soot and need to be taken out and cleaned. This gives the technician a chance to check the heat exchanger and parts for signs of damage so repairs can be done if needed. If you feel comfortable checking the combustion area of the furnace, you might want to look in there every few months just to make sure soot isn't accumulating.
If the area looks dirty, call a heating maintenance company and ask for advice. This is important if you hear odd noises like small bangs when the furnace starts up because dust and soot can keep your furnace from firing up properly.
Clean The Area Around The Furnace
One thing you can do that doesn't require the help of a maintenance technician is to clean the exterior of the furnace to keep dust from accumulating. You might also want to clean around the furnace to keep the area free from dust and clutter. Keeping dust and clutter away helps improve airflow around and through your furnace, and it can also eliminate a fire hazard.