Keeping My Power Bills Down

3 Easy Furnace Maintenance Tips

Your furnace is an indispensable appliance during the colder months of the year. Unfortunately, some homeowners may not realize how important furnace upkeep is to prevent unexpected problems. Here are three ways to maintain your furnace so it can provide several years of reliable service.

1. Perform Maintenance Checks Before Winter

You would never wait until the day of a big trip to take your car to the mechanic. Waiting until cold weather hits to begin maintaining your air conditioner is the same type of mistake. Start maintenance early, and you will thank yourself later when your home isn't left without heat on a cold day.

Another benefit of early maintenance is that you will sometimes pay less for professional service. Summer and Fall are typically the off-seasons for heating repair, and heating system parts are in significantly lower demand. Thanks to these factors, you may receive discounted rates from your HVAC contractor.

2. Change the Furnace Filter Regularly

Changing the furnace filter is the most important task homeowners can perform to keep their furnace healthy. The filter protects the inside of your furnace from airborne dust that can build up and cause damage.

A clogged filter won't be able to protect your furnace from dust and will block airflow to the air handler. These problems are a recipe for furnace overheating that could easily lead to a breakdown. Check your filter each month so you can be sure your furnace is getting the clean air it needs.

3. Keep the Condensate Drain Clear

In gas furnaces, moisture in the air and hydrogen in the natural gas form condensation that must be drained away. Most central HVAC systems have a condensate pan above the air handler that collects condensation for both the furnace and air conditioner. Moisture then runs outdoors through the condensate drain attached to the pan.

Impurities like dust, dirt, and mold can gradually clog the condensate drain with grime. If you notice leaking around your furnace or the system refuses to start up, inspect the drain and pan. You can often clear the blockage by pouring diluted bleach or vinegar into the drain. Let the solution work for half an hour or more before you try to run your furnace again.

These simple tips will help you accomplish the most important furnace maintenance tasks. Remember to supplement your DIY maintenance with annual professional inspections for the best furnace care possible. Contact a heating maintenance service near you to learn more.