Its fall and the autumn nights are starting to grow chilly. It’s time to get out your fall maintenance checklist. Top on this list should be a professional furnace tune-up. A furnace system can wear itself out quickly without it being checked and cleaned annually. Or it can stop working. Or worse, according the system you have, it can pump deadly carbon monoxide into your home.
Whatever type of system you have, don’t wait until it breaks down to make that call for service. An annual service tune-up is inexpensive (generally less than $100). It is far less expensive when compared to the price of a new furnace.
The fall maintenance tune-up serves another purpose. It is a great time to check the efficiency of your furnace. If you have your system cleaned, the connections checked and the moving parts lubricated, your heating unit can operate at maximum efficiency. Your utility bills will be less and you will have taken care of any preventable repairs.
Not only will you ensure that you will stay warm and cozy all winter long without losing dollars to inefficiency, but you will discover before the hard freezes if you need any problems fixed. This fall inspection will give you time to order parts if you need them. Or, if you furnace is ancient, it gives you time to decide on a replacement before the cold sets in.
Here is a checklist of things you will want your professional to do during this annual tune-up:
- Check all connections (electrical or gas) and tighten them if necessary. This is for safety.
- Clean condenser coils
- Check the operations pressures
- Measure the motors current and voltage
- Inspect safety switches (controls that shut down the furnace automatically in the event of dangerous temperatures or other malfunctions)
- Inspect and clean fan blower blades and check the belt for adjustment and wear. Lubricate moving parts including the blower motor.
- Check the thermostat calibration for operation and accuracy
- Clean blower assembly
- Ensure condensate drain lines are clean
- Clean and replace air filter
What you can do for fall maintenance of your furnace
Once this professional tune-up is completed, there are things you can do during the winter to make sure your furnace system continues to run smoothly and safely:
- Change your furnace filter every month-it helps maintains proper airflow and will help extend the life of your system
- Be sure that the area surrounding the furnace is clean and clutter free. You want to make sure your furnace is easily accessible in case of an emergency.
- Always change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them regularly
- Post the emergency number of your gas company on your furnace and call the minute you smell gas around the unit
- Make sure you know where your emergency gas shutoff valve is. The area around it needs to be clutter free so that you can get to it easily.