If you have just purchased your first home, you will soon discover how important it is to regularly check on appliances and structural features within your house. Maintaining your furnace is necessary to help reduce the amount of service calls you may need to make to make repair. Here are some steps you should take before turning your furnace on for the cool season in an attempt to keep it running properly until springtime arrives.
Turn Off The Power
It is important to turn off the power to your furnace before you start doing maintenance on it. Look for a red switch plate on one of the walls near your furnace and switch it to the off position. If you cannot locate the power switch plate, turn off the power for your furnace at your main circuit panel.
Remove All Debris
Cleaning out the combustion chamber will help the flame to ignite without trouble as there will no longer be ash or soot in the way of the burner. Open the front panel of your furnace and remove the debris using a shop vacuum attachment. Scrape the top and sides of the chamber using a wire brush, knocking any caked on debris to the floor of the chamber. Again, use your vacuum to remove the debri. Make sure no small pieces are embedded around the burner.
Change The Filter
Before you turn on your furnace, change out last season's air filter for a brand new one. Since you do not know when your home's previous owner had last changed the filter, this will ensure you are not spreading particles of dust throughout your home when the blower comes on. This can be changed simply by pulling out the old one and sliding a new one in its spot.
Check The Pipe
Attached to your furnace is a pipe that pushes the hot air toward the heating ducts that carry heat to your vents. If this pipe has any cracks within, the heat will escape before it ever makes it to the rooms in your home. Repair cracks using foil tape. If there are larger holes or if the pipe is coming loose from your furnace, the entire piece will need to be replaced by an HVAC service.
Observe For Wear
Locate your furnace's service manual to find out where the fan belt is located. Take a look at this belt for areas that appear dry rotted, cracked, or deformed. If your fan belt does not look smooth, it may need to be replaced.