Your Ultimate Guide to Gas Furnace Maintenance
Undoubtedly your gas furnace has seen you through some pretty rough times. It has also most likely had its better days. Proper maintenance is essential for keeping your gas furnace in good condition.
Your gas furnace is eventually subject to wear and tear. That said, the best practices in gas furnace maintenance will add a few years to your furnace’s lifetime. Typically, a gas furnace lasts about 16-20 years, but proper maintenance can extend this to over the years.
When you maintain your gas furnace properly, you do more than just increase its lifetime. Maintenance also makes your gas furnace more efficient, which translates to you saving a lot of money.
This article is a comprehensive guide on how to maintain your gas furnace. Read on to find out how you can save money and have a more efficient and longer-lasting gas furnace.
Gas Furnace Maintenance Tips Everyone Should Know
Maintaining your gas furnace won’t even make you break a sweat. Gas furnace maintenance is even fun, some might argue. Remember, you can always have the professionals do the work if necessary.
Implement these few tips and your furnace will run in optimum condition for years.
1. Clear the Area Around the Furnace
We’re all guilty of this at some point—cluttering the area around the furnace. The reason for this clutter is because most people have their furnaces in the basement.
The basement is an ideal location for your gas furnace. Unfortunately, the basement is also where we place most of our unused items.
Too many items close to the furnace is a fire hazard. You also disrupt air circulation in your furnace, which hampers its efficiency.
So before you get to the other maintenance practices, clear the area surrounding your furnace. Have other folks help you out if its too much work.
2. Use Curtains to Your Advantage
Not a lot of people know this, but curtains are great energy savers. If you open and close your curtains strategically, you can save a lot of energy.
Whenever it’s cold, usually at night, always close the curtains. In doing so, you prevent losing heat to the cold outdoors.
During the day, you can keep your curtains open. For South and West-facing windows, open curtains let the warm sunshine indoors. Try to keep the north windows’ curtains closed to retain the heat inside.
3. Regularly Clean Your Filter
Filters prevent dust and air debris like hair and pollen from entering your furnace. Over time these materials may build up and clog the filter.
When the filter clogs, your furnace must use a lot of energy to get air through the filter. This extra energy will make your power bills go up.
It is thus important to regularly clean your filter for an efficient system. As a rule of thumb, consider checking your filter monthly for debris. If things are visibly out of hand, then you should consider replacing your filter.
If you have reusable filters, then thorough cleaning will work fine.
4. Schedule for Regular Tune-Ups
Have a professional check your furnace at least once a year. Tune-ups ensure your furnace works at its optimum, at least until the next tune-up.
Only professionals who know their way around your furnace are fit for tune-ups. Doing the tune-up yourself doesn’t end well for most people. Your Uncle Joe too, probably won’t be any better.
A typical tune-up will involve the following:-
- A thorough inspection for any operational mishaps
- Tweak furnace parts to increase efficiency
- Perform thorough maintenance exercise
- Give recommendations on how to take care of the gas furnace
A tune-up is a great way to extend the longevity of your furnace. A tune-up will also save you a lot of cash in the long run.
5. Check Your CO detectors
If you don’t have CO detectors, get them ASAP. CO detectors are mandatory for any house with a furnace. They are available everywhere and are also inexpensive.
Carbon monoxide leaks in gas furnaces are not uncommon. In excess, carbon monoxide may be detrimental to your health. These CO detectors will tell you whether there’s any carbon monoxide leak in your system.
If you already have CO detectors, then remember to keep a regular check of them. Your CO detector has batteries that can die at any time. Check if their batteries still work and replace them if necessary.
If you have inexplicable flu-like conditions, then it could be carbon monoxide build-up. You should have a professional check your gas furnace.
In case of CO detection, get emergency furnace repair services as soon as you can.
6. Seal Your Garage Door
Understandably, most people overlook the garage door unknowingly. The garage door is a culprit for heat losses.
When you don’t seal your garage door, it becomes a conduit for cold air to enter your home. Touch your garage door down and check for any spaces. Check the sides too and the top for any empty spaces.
7. Get Some Ceiling fans
It sounds outrageous to get ceiling fans for the winter, but they’re very helpful. Ceiling fans are great for your home’s overall warmth.
The trick is you have to run your ceiling fans on low. From science, we know that warm air rises and cold air settles below it.
Running your fan pushes the warm air down. In case you have suspended sofas, then this trick will work great or you. So get some ceiling fans and take a load off your gas furnace.
8. Check the Pilot Light
If you have an old furnace, it most likely has a pilot light. Check the pilot light flame, and if the flame isn’t blue, then the furnace needs some checking.
Your pilot light’s flame should be a luminous blue. If the flame is yellow, purple, or green, then you should call for repairs quickly.
Too many condensates like tar in your furnace make the flame change color. A yellow flame could also indicate the presence of excess carbon monoxide in your system.
A different color pilot light means your furnace isn’t working as efficiently as it should. Have a professional check it out before it gets worse.
9. Don’t Block Your Air Registers and Exhaust pipes
Don’t place a lot of items around your air register. Doing so may block the passage of air into the registers.
When you block the registers, the furnace heats your home unevenly. This uneven heating leaves some rooms warm and toasty and others chilly.
Huddling in one room to get warm isn’t a good look. Just clear the air registers’ path to avoid such an embarrassing scene.
Some gas furnaces have exhaust pipes. These exhaust pipes are great for the efficiency of your furnace. Blocking the exhaust pipes, however beats the idea of having them in the first place.
If your gas furnace has exhaust pipes, ensure that nothing blocks these pipes. Otherwise, your furnace may not run as efficiently as it should.
10. Do Intensive Baking During Winter
Unleash your inner baker during winter for your furnaces’ sake. Everyone loves pies, and making them could be beneficial for your heating system. No matter how you look at it, baking during winter is a huge win.
The oven will heat the kitchen. This heat will dissipate into other rooms when you bake intensively. Baking gives your heating system a break or a helpful boost.
Besides, you also get to enjoy a warm delicacy in your warm and cozy home. Do some baking during winter; it’s good for your furnace.
11. Humidity Levels
Winter tends to be very dry. You can tell from your dry skin and the raspiness of your throat during winter. This dryness makes us feel a lot colder than we are.
When humidity levels are right, heat dissipates more effectively. Get a humidifier and crank your humidity levels a bit.
A humidifier during winter is always a good idea. First, you get to maintain your glowing skin and beautiful voice. Second, you get to have a warm home during winter.
12. Decorative Insulation
Carpets and rugs can serve a less aesthetic purpose too. These decoratives can act as perfect insulation for your gas furnace. They will ensure the house doesn’t lose heat to the floor.
Go for the warm fuzzy rugs and carpets that look great. These decorative insulations also have a great feel to the feet.
Take Good Care of Your Furnace
A heating system is essential for any home. As such, it is important to put these gas furnace maintenance tips into practice.
Remember, whenever you need a helping hand you can always contact the professionals to help you. Otherwise, we wish you a warm and steamy winter.
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