Three Steps To Better Heating Maintenance
Despite the fact that most modern heating systems are remarkably durable, there still remains quite a bit of maintenance that the average homeowner needs to perform on a regular basis to ensure that their system lasts as long as possible. Regular maintenance, along with prompt repairs of any problems, will also ensure that your heating system runs as efficiently as possible through the cold winter months.
Fortunately, it isn't that difficult to keep up with heating maintenance; in most cases, some of the most basic things that need to be done can be performed by the average homeowner. Look at the list below, and make a personalized schedule of when to accomplish these tasks.
Change Air Filters
Just like with your air-conditioner, your air filters need to be changed every 3 to 6 months. Unless you have a furnace that uses its own air filter, most of the time, one air filter will suffice for both systems and will be located at the exit point of the ductwork in the house. Replace it more often if you live in an especially dusty environment, such as a new construction area, or if anyone in your home has breathing issues, such as allergies or asthma. Failure to do this most basic task will result in a system that is choked out and unable to operate very well.
Clean the Insides
Take the metal wall off the one side of your furnace and inspect the interior parts for any dust or debris. You can use a dry rag to wipe down the parts that you can see, but you can also use a vacuum cleaner to reach into areas that you can't. Make sure that the unit is shut off before attempting this to prevent any kind of injury that may take place from an accidental ignition. The specific places that you're looking to clean are the blower blades and the burner. If you're having trouble locating them, contact a local HVAC technician to schedule a heating system maintenance and have them do it for you.
Inspect the System
While you have the metal wall off the unit, do a quick visual inspection of all the parts. Look at the burner flames and see if they're a deep, blue color, and also look at the fan blade to check for deterioration. If both of those look good, head back in the house and inspect your utility bills. Even though utility rates are going up nationwide, your usage should stay relatively the same, so look for any increases over the past few years. If you spot some, that may mean your ventilation is needing some work, so contact an HVAC service to have it fixed.