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Furnace Maintenance 101: Everything You Need to Know

When's the last time you did any furnace maintenance? For most people, the answer to that question is either "never" or "the last time something was broken." While you may have gotten lucky to this point with no furnace issues or only minor repairs needed, as your furnace gets older, it needs more attention to extend its lifespan and to keep it working properly.

The time to find out your furnace isn't working is not the middle of a winter snowstorm or polar vortex! Make a vow to yourself that this will be the year that you make sure your furnace is working properly before the winter begins. To make sure you're staying warm this winter, we've got some furnace maintenance basics to get you started.

Furnace Maintenance Tips

When summer turns to fall, you'll want to make sure your furnace is running properly. Do this before the weather gets cold enough to use your furnace and you'll thank yourself later. While calling the pros for a furnace tune-up is always a good idea, there are some basic maintenance steps you can take on your own to keep everything working properly.

Confirm the Cycling

Make sure the furnace completes a full cycle from start to shut down. Use your thermostat to confirm that the furnace shuts off when it reaches the temperature you've set it to. If it shuts off before it reaches the temperature you've set, it is having issues with short cycling and likely requires professional service.

Clean the Registers

Clean your registers regularly. Make sure there is nothing blocking them, as that will block the warm air coming out. Clean the grates as well, either with a vacuum or damp cloth, to get all of the dust and dirt off of them. If there is a large air return grate, make sure that it is clean as well.

Clear Around the Furnace

Make sure any objects that are in front of the furnace or furnace door are removed. It's wise to make sure the area around the furnace is free and clear as well.

Change Furnace Filters

Replace the furnace filters at least once every three months and more often if it is caked with dust and dirt. A dirty filter reduces the efficiency of your furnace.

Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detector

Check that your carbon monoxide detector is functioning properly and change the batteries. If you don't have a carbon monoxide detector, you should strongly consider getting one.

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Furnace Maintenance 101

These furnace maintenance tips will help keep your furnace running properly and efficiently. Coupled with regular maintenance by HVAC professionals, you can help prevent your furnace from going out when you really need it and also ensure that your furnace operates to its full potential.

Put furnace upkeep on your home to-do list in the fall each year and find a local 1-800-Plumber location for the repairs and maintenance that you can't tackle on your own.

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