Homeowner’s Guide To Furnace Maintenance And Cleaning

Homeowner’s Guide To Furnace Maintenance And CleaningPerforming regular maintenance on your furnace is the best way to make sure your furnace works properly and lasts for years. Without routine heating system maintenance once a year, you could end up causing problems for your furnace.

I’ve been working in the HVAC industry for 15+ years, and have plenty of experience dealing with all different sorts of furnaces. I’ve performed electric furnace cleaning, gas furnace service, and repaired both kinds of systems as well.

At Compass Heating and Cooling, we want to educate our customers and community. The more you know about how to best maintain and operate your heating and cooling systems, the better we are able to provide you with targeted, professional service.

So, I have put together this brief guide to help you understand not only how your furnace works, but also things that you can do to maintain it yourself and when it is best to call in professional help.

Homeowner’s Guide To Furnace Maintenance And Cleaning

This brief guide will provide you with a basic understanding of how your system works, how to best maintain it and what you – the homeowner – may be able to do yourself.

Furnace Basics

Your furnace – whether it is fueled by oil or gas – heats through combustion. That means that your furnace needs regular maintenance to keep all parts functioning and safe.

Parts Of a Furnace

The key parts of your furnace that a thorough maintenance will cover are:

  • Combustion Chamber
  • Blower
  • Burner
  • Air Ducts
  • Changeable air filter that handles the air filtration function
  • Drive Belts and Motor Bearings

How A Furnace Works

Your furnace works by taking the fuel – whether gas or oil – and burning it in the combustion chamber with the burner to produce heat. The furnace blower takes the heated air and pushes it through the air ducts, first passing the heated air through the air filtration system and the air filter. All of this is powered by a system of drive belts and motor bearings.

In a professional maintenance program, each one of these parts is inspected, cleaned, and or replaced as needed. There are certain DIY steps that the homeowner can perform that I will get into a little later.

Benefits Of Furnace Preventative Maintenance

The benefits of furnace preventative maintenance are clear. Furnace routine maintenance will save you money in the long run by maximizing your furnace’s efficiency, and increasing its lifespan. An efficient furnace is energy efficient, ultimately saving you money on your energy bills. What’s more, with peak performance, your furnace will provide you with improved air quality and comfort.

How Often To Schedule Routine Furnace Maintenance

Your furnace needs annual furnace maintenance. We recommend having your heating furnace maintenance performed before the winter, but even if you have it done during or just after, it’s still beneficial.

DIY Gas Furnace Maintenance

As I mentioned before, there are a few DIY system maintenance steps that are available to a willing owner of a gas furnace.

  • Clean around the furnace itself making sure that it is free of debris and clutter.
  • Change out the furnace filter every 90 days or so. A clean filter is the number one way to maximize air filtration and improve air quality and performance.
  • Keep an eye on the age of your furnace. A well-maintained furnace can last up to 20 years. But as a heating system ages, inefficiencies can occur almost without you knowing it. Some of the newer Energy Star-rated systems can provide better running costs.

Read More: What Does A Furnace Tune Up Cost?

DIY Furnace Maintenance Tips

As a service to our customers, I like to provide these tips to help them get the best performance from their furnaces.

  • Keep an eye on your running costs. If you begin to notice an increase in your energy bills, it may be time to have a complete furnace tune up.
  • Invest in the proper tools and replacement materials such as gloves, towels, and the correct size of air filter for your furnace.

What A Professional Furnace Check-and-Clean Includes

How Often Should A Furnace Be Serviced? [Home Heating Guide]A professional furnace check and clean involves cleaning but also some safety tasks best left to the professionals.

  • Thorough cleaning of the combustion chamber of soot and debris
  • Air duct cleaning and checking for leaks
  • Carbon monoxide testing. A natural gas or propane furnace as well as an oil-burning furnace burns fuel. As a result, it is important to perform backdraft testing to ensure that gasses are vented properly.
  • Check the chimney and exhaust flue for signs of wear and leaks.
  • Cleaning and maintaining the blower compartment
  • Inspect and adjust dampers including the barometric damper for proper air flow
  • Maintain the burner through a thorough cleaning and adjustment
  • Inspect and service the drive belt
  • Your technician knows how to troubleshoot virtually any furnace and can identify potential problems and wear. A proper tune-up provides peace of mind that your furnace is running safely and efficiently.

FAQs: Furnace Maintenance and Efficiency

The most frequently asked questions have to do with understanding what your furnace needs to perform at peak operation.

How do I service my furnace myself?

As a homeowner you can change out the filters and keep the area around the furnace clean and free of debris. For full service, we recommend calling a professional.

How do you maintain a heater?

The best way for a homeowner to maintain their heater is to schedule a yearly tune-up to ensure that your system is running safely and at peak performance.

How do I know if my furnace needs cleaning?

Your furnace will need cleaning yearly. You can also look for soot or dirt around your furnace that needs to be wiped up. If you have your system cleaned once a year, you should be in good shape! Furnace check-and-cleans in Bloomingdale, IL.

Call Compass Heating and Air at (630) 504-8688, for furnace check-and-cleans in Bloomingdale, IL.