What Exactly Is Furnace Maintenance?

September 22, 2021
Furnace Maintenance

The seasons have once again turned cold, and your mind is turning toward your furnace and keeping your house warm. Part of these thoughts should focus on your furnace maintenance and wondering if it’s getting all the attention it should. Here’s what should be included during your annual furnace maintenance appointment and why scheduling it is a must every fall.

Why Furnace Maintenance Is a Must

With all that the fall brings with it, you may be tempted to skip your furnace maintenance. Before you do, take a few minutes to understand why it’s important to keep your house safe and comfortable.

As your heater runs, its efficiency slowly degrades, costing you more in utility costs. It also causes more wear on your system, resulting in more frequent furnace repairs. One of the major goals of maintenance is to maintain your furnace’s efficiency.

Most manufacturers recognize the need for maintenance to keep their heating systems working properly. As such, routine professional maintenance is often a term of your warranty with a new heater. If you skip your annual maintenance, you may be left with unexpected repair bills due to faulty components.

Getting Things Clean

Your heating system draws in air from around your home, including all the contaminants floating through that air. While your air filter captures most of these contaminants, the smallest ones flow right through and settle elsewhere. The most common places for them to collect are on your heat exchanger and circulating fan.

As these contaminants collect, they slowly start reducing your heater’s airflow, increasing strain and operational costs. When you get professional maintenance for your furnace, your technician will carefully clean these areas. This is a major part of keeping your heating system operating efficiently.

Balanced and Tightened

As your furnace runs, it creates vibrations that slowly loosen components within the unit. When they’re loose, these components start moving due to those vibrations, increasing the strain that the components experience. To reduce this strain and to keep your components from becoming damaged, your technician will tighten all the mounting screws and bolts.

Your circulating fan wheel will also come unbalanced as it runs, much like the tires on your car. To keep it from damaging the fan motor spindle, your technician will balance it during your maintenance visit.

Finally, your electrical connections may loosen with the vibration, increasing the electrical resistance. This resistance causes more heat, which can damage the electrical components and wiring. Your technician will check these connections and ensure they’re tight to reduce resistance.

Checking Safety

You may not think about it much, but running a furnace comes with some risks of property damage and personal injury. The vast majority of the problems that occur can be mitigated with proper maintenance.

Your system has a series of safety components to shut down the unit if it detects an issue. Your technician will check each safety mechanism to ensure it’s operating correctly.

They’ll also inspect your gas supply to make sure there are no leaks, as well as test for carbon monoxide around your system. If they discover a leak, you’ll be able to repair the problem before putting your family at risk during the coldest months of the winter.

Inspecting System Components

A visual inspection helps detect many problems before they become catastrophic. This includes looking at the furnace housing, burners, igniter, and blower and inducer fan motors.

Your technician should also do an in-depth look at the heat exchanger, checking for any cracks. This set of tubes carries the exhaust out of your house, so a crack creates a significant safety hazard. If your heat exchanger is cracked, it may be time to explore replacing your furnace with a new unit.

Testing System Function

Before wrapping up, your technician should also test a complete heating cycle. They’ll be looking to ensure that each part initializes at the right time and that it runs appropriately.

To heat your house properly, the furnace raises the temperature of the circulating air by a specified range. Each heater is rated differently, so our technicians will check the range for your particular model. Both too little and too much rise indicates a problem with your heater that may prevent proper heating.

Hunter's Air & Heat, Inc. proudly serves the Boling-Iago community with reliable HVAC services. Our NATE-certified technicians offer air conditioning and furnace installation, maintenance, and repairs, along with indoor air quality solutions. Call today to schedule your furnace maintenance appointment with one of our expert technicians.

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