Just like any home maintenance, cleaning your furnace before the winter can save you a great deal of money. Cleaning your furnace before you start to use it regularly can potentially extend the life of your furnace. Cleaning also ensures that your furnace doesn’t fail when you need it most on the coldest day of the year.
Follow these below steps on how to clean your furnace before winter arrives. You can ensure there’s an operational furnace that will keep you and your family warm throughout the winter months.
1. Turn on the thermostat
By making to switch on your home’s thermostat from cooling to heating mode, you should hear or feel the heat kick in. Simply dial up the thermostat to a little warmer than room temperature. If nothing happens you can investigate yourself or call in a professional. If you are at all unsure of what you’re doing, then it is best to have an expert come and take a look. Sometimes an inexperienced hand can do more damage than good.
Making sure that your thermostat is clean and you can use it with ease within its full range of motion is very important. The last thing that you want is to find that there is dirt or debris in the mechanism and you can’t turn the heat above 15 degrees.
2. Remove and replace old air filters
A great method on how to clean your furnace is to replace the old filter. It may have been some time since you last changed the air filters in your home. To ensure that your HVAC system is able to work as efficiently as possible you should change these air filters at least once every 3 months. When doing this it is also a great idea to change your humidifier filter and set the humidistat.
Once again, if you are unfamiliar with how to do this then having a professional help you out is advised. If an air filter has become saturated with dust and debris then the HVAC system has to work much harder to heat your home. This means a higher hydro bill and less energy-efficient home.
3. Cover up the AC condenser
This is optional and only something that you have to do if you notice a problem with icicles forming. The goal of doing this is to prevent any icicles forming and falling from the ac condenser. If the location of the condenser makes this not a hazard, then you don’t really need to worry about it.
If there is a footpath directly beneath the AC condenser, then you should place a plastic container underneath it to catch any falling ice. Another alternative to this is you monitor the ice build-up and clean regularly. If this becomes a big problem, then you may want to look into more permanent solutions during the furnace installation process.
4. Brush and vacuum the heat exchanger
This should be done at least once a year by a professional. You will also have the benefit of having a trained expert give your furnace a once over to spot any issues before they become a larger problem. Their expert eyes can identify cracks in the furnace or loose seals around any components.
Having these sorts of things taken care of before they develop into a much larger problem can save you a great deal of money and inconvenience. Make sure to inspect this when
5. Inspect the blower motor
Making sure that the blower motor is clear of debris means that it won’t become clogged unexpectedly. Cleaning all of the caps, coverings and bearings will prevent any nasty surprises down the line as well. You might find that you need a professional to locate this in your home, let alone maintain it.
Don’t be shy about asking the furnace technician to walk you through what they are doing. It might be a skill that you can pick up for use when it comes to cleaning your furnace next year.
6. Test the lighter switch
If the furnace is an older model, you may need to manually relight the pilot. Most of the more modern furnaces have built-in electronic ignitors. If the ignitor is failing to work then you should find the result button and push it. If nothing happens then the next step is to see if the breakers need to be flipped.
If your furnace still fails to ignite after that it is time to call in a professional. The cause of the problem might be much more complex and it may be dangerous for you to attempt to fix it alone.
7. Replace carbon monoxide detectors
While not directly related to the cleaning and maintenance of your furnace, this can help to identify a problem with your furnace before it becomes a hazard to your health. Carbon Monoxide is known as the silent killer as it has no odour and is invisible but can be deadly.