Your furnace is responsible for keeping your home warm and cozy during the chilly winter months. It is important to keep it in good working order, or else you run the risk of feeling like you live in a refrigerator once winter arrives. Here are three maintenance tips that will help keep your furnace running well and keep you aware of any repairs that need to be made.
Schedule yearly inspection with an HVAC specalist.
The most important step to take in caring for your furnace and air conditioning unit is scheduling a yearly inspection with an HVAC specialist. It is best to schedule your furnace's yearly check up between peak hot and cold weather seasons. The middle of spring or the middle of autumn are the perfect time for this visit because you will not be overworking the furnace or the air conditioner too much due to milder temperatures. An HVAC specialist will be able to pinpoint any factors contributing to decreased performance and make any minor repairs, preparing you for the winter with a fully functional furnace.
Keep track of your pilot light.
Changes in your pilot light's behavior are a good indicator of your furnace's performance. Under optimal conditions, your pilot light will mostly be blue in color with a frame of yellow radiating outward. A sputtering or yellow flame are signs that there are problems with your furnace. To contribute to the functioning of your pilot light, you can clear it of dust by using a plastic straw to gently blow collections of dust away. Make sure you speak with a heating services specialist if you notice that your pilot light is not displaying normal behavior.
Check and replace your air filter often.
A dirty air filter leads to decreases in performance from your furnace. The purpose of the air filter is to keep debris from getting into your HVAC unit's system, but left unchecked, a dirty air filter can recirculate contaminated air throughout your home. During periods when you are using your furnace heavily, make sure to check on your air filter every few weeks. A pleated air filter should be replaced every few months. A permanent, reusable air filter should be cleaned with soapy water and should dry completely before you return it to its proper place. A permanent air filter can also be run through the dishwasher safely so long as the heated drying function is turned off.