Winter can be cruel and relentless when the cold creeps into every home crevice. Without a working furnace, the house could soon feel like an icebox, leaving everyone very uncomfortable, not to mention the illnesses it could cause.
Because most people only use their furnaces when the weather becomes cooler, they tend to forget about it during the summer months. Unfortunately, failing to maintain it can be a costly mistake, especially when the furnace suddenly fails to operate on a freezing night.
With this in mind, one of the tasks new homeowners must prioritize is scheduling their furnace’s maintenance and cleaning before the colder days set in. It will thus be beneficial to know what to check and take care of so the family can enjoy a cozy atmosphere all winter long. You can check this video as a good start:
Furthermore, below are some maintenance tips to keep in mind:
1.Create a cleaning and maintenance checklist
A furnace requires cleaning and maintenance like any other appliance in the home, and new homeowners should remind themselves of this extra responsibility. Until the chore becomes second nature for you, you can implement a checklist to ensure everything is taken care of before winter.
Setting a reminder on a calendar could help to know when to start preparing the furnace as winter is approaching. Furthermore, select the date that would be most convenient, allowing enough time to complete the checklist and leaving room for unexpected repairs.
So, to give it a winter furnace tune-up, include the following items on the list:
- Visible inspection of the outside and inside parts
- Go over the gas and electrical connections where applicable
- Surface cleaning of dust and debris
- Examine the ducts, fan, pipes, vents, motor, sensors, thermostat, and filters
- Check for built-up water vapor or dampness
- Include contact details for a professional
Each furnace and home will be unique, meaning you should include all the other parts not mentioned here that could be crucial to their furnace maintenance. An excellent way to know where to give special attention is to read the manufacturer’s manual or contact a professional for tips if none is available.
Not only will this maintenance checklist keep the furnace in top condition, but you will also be within the regulations that state all new furnaces should be at least 78% efficient in their operation, per the article for Family Handyman.
2.Do some maintenance yourself
Following the checklist, make notes of all the work the furnace may need, like cleaning, replacement parts, etc. It will quickly become apparent that there are some tasks that you can do or take care of on your own, such as removing any dust or debris from the furnace or cleaning the heat sensor with a soft cloth, while others would require professional assistance.
Over time, the different elements of the furnace could lead to a breakdown if not kept in check. Some parts could start to work overtime, while others could block the airflow or affect the home’s air quality. Therefore, regularly running through easy-to-do tasks could help new homeowners save thousands in costly repairs and, more importantly, give them a healthier utility bill to boot.
3.Install or check monitoring devices
One crucial aspect of a furnace that new homeowners should keep in mind is that there could be emissions like carbon monoxide to monitor with the heat production process. Fortunately, some homes already have CO sensors to detect when these levels become too dangerous for the family.
If not, homeowners can purchase and install these throughout the house to give them added peace of mind and warn them about a potentially fatal situation, as around 170 people die from exposure to this toxic gas yearly.
Another thing to note is that there could be a fire risk with anything producing so much heat. For this reason, homeowners should install smoke detectors around their homes and ensure they are functional. These devices would require the homeowner to regularly change their batteries so they can serve as an early warning system in case of emergencies.
4.Know when to call a professional
Apart from quick and easy cleaning homeowners can do themselves during winter, there are specific maintenance tasks only a qualified professional should attempt. With that said, homeowners should arrange a yearly visit from their local reputable furnace experts to give the whole system a once over and identify any issues that would need immediate attention.
However, homeowners should also be aware of any smells coming from the furnace or air ducts or when they suspect there may be something wrong with their furnace. Immediately enquiring from a professional will ensure the homeowner solves the problem before it becomes a disaster for them during winter.
Warming up to the conclusion
For a new homeowner, maintaining a furnace could be a foreign concept. Still, with enough practice on the essential maintenance tips, they should be able to protect their home’s heating source throughout the winter. Besides, with an expert checking all the components annually, there shouldn’t be any problems for the foreseeable cold weather days.