February 23, 2024
Smart Tips on How to Maintain Your Furnace and Keep it Running Well

When winter winds blow, nothing beats relaxing in a cozy, warm home. But once your furnace starts acting up, that comfort disappears in a flash.

Yet, a bit of maintenance keeps it running smoothly all season long. Follow these pro tips to help your furnace operate at its best!

Annual Checkups

Hands down, scheduling annual furnace tune-ups is the biggest key to trouble-free winter warmth.

Preventative maintenance helps catch minor issues before they require major repairs down the road.

Aim to book a furnace inspection at least once a year, ideally before your area’s coldest months start. Some homeowners opt for biannual visits – once ahead of winter and again pre-summer to tune up the AC as well.

When should you schedule maintenance? Here are some suggested time frames:

  • Cold climates – Schedule for September/October before heating season ramps up
  • Mild climates – Visit around October/November or April/May as seasons change
  • Year-round warm spots – Service the furnace anytime, but change filters more often

Keep It Clean

A dirty filter can’t properly filter the air, leading to reduced airflow and efficiency. Follow your manufacturer’s guidelines for changing filters. Typically, you should swap in a fresh filter every 1-3 months during peak heating or cooling seasons.

Some tips for easy furnace filter maintenance:

  • Note the filter size and keep spares on hand for quick changes.
  • Check it monthly and replace if dirty. Don’t wait for the scheduled replacement time.
  • Use the right filter for your furnace model to maintain proper airflow.
  • Upgrade to a pleated filter for cleaner air, but confirm it’s compatible with your furnace first.
  • Consider electronic air cleaners or HEPA filters if allergies are an issue.

Give Your Furnace Some Space

It’s tempting to use the empty floor space around your furnace for storage in the off-season. But come fall, clear away any objects crowding the unit. Blocked airflow and trapped heat can cause malfunctions.

Follow these furnace clearance tips:

  • Leave 30″ minimum front clearance for maintenance and repairs
  • Keep all sides reasonably accessible – don’t jam it into a tight corner
  • Avoid placing objects on top even if there’s space
  • Check back often as storage tends to creep close over time
  • Never obstruct air vents, ducts, or the thermostat

How to Detect Furnace Trouble

Unusual new sounds are one of the first indicators of furnace trouble. Learn what concerning noises signal:

  • Knocking – Gas ignition issues cause rhythmic knocking as the furnace tries to light.
  • Humming – A louder, higher pitched hum can mean blower motor problems.
  • Banging – Loose parts inside the furnace rattling around cause banging noises.
  • Whistling – Airflow restriction from a dirty filter or blocked duct.
  • Snapping – Sign of ignition system failure, especially on startup.

Don’t ignore strange furnace sounds – shut it down and call a technician immediately. Unusual noises likely mean damage or dangerous conditions are developing. Acting quickly helps avoid costly repairs down the road.

Leave Major Repairs to the Pros!

While DIY maintenance helps avoid issues, major furnace repairs are best left to qualified professionals like those at Indoor Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning.

Never try to fix complex components or gas connections yourself. Licensed HVAC technicians have the skills and tools to properly diagnose and fix problems.

We’re Available 24/7! Contact us right away if your furnace:

  • Stops providing heat completely
  • Won’t turn off even when temperature is reached
  • Starts leaking gas, water, or other fluids
  • Shows symptoms of a cracked heat exchanger
  • Makes loud banging, grinding, or roaring

Don’t leave your family shivering – our experts are ready anytime to restore soothing furnace warmth.

Call Indoor Comfort today for skilled maintenance or urgent repairs!

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