Your Furnace is Working Too Hard

Commercial and industrial businesses have preventative maintenance systems to maximize their equipment lifespan. There’s no reason your home should be any different.

Scheduling preventative maintenance to help prevent a breakdown or something worse (like leaking carbon monoxide) with these tips:

Change Filters
This is the easiest and most basic maintenance item. Clogged filters reduce efficiency and prevent dust from being captured, reintroducing it into the air. This aggravates respiratory problems.

Inspect burner flames
Turn your thermostat up to engage the furnace burners and make sure they come on. For a natural gas fired furnace, verify that the flame color is blue. If it’s yellow, there’s a problem with combustion and the furnace is creating carbon monoxide. This is a safety hazard that needs immediate attention from a professional.

Clean the burners, the pilot light, flame sensor and hot surface igniters
Only carry out this process if you’re comfortable opening up your furnace. Before you begin, make sure to turn off the electrical supply and shut off the gas supply to the furnace. This is a critical safety measure that, if not done, can cost you your life! Use a vacuum hose to clean out any dust settled in the combustion compartment. Be careful not to damage any of the components while carrying out this task.

Clean the blower
A clean fan blows more air, increasing overall furnace efficiency and keeping your energy costs down. Open the blower compartment and vacuum this section as well. Once again, ensure the power is shut off. If you can reach, use a brush to remove dust from the blower cage and fan blades.

Ductwork: Reset dampers (if applicable)
Some duct systems have dampers that control air to each floor with winter and summer settings. Poor air distribution upsets temperature control in basements and upper floors. Switch the damper setting to correct the airflow for the season and you won’t have to overwork your furnace to deal with that cold basement.

Ductwork: seal leaky ducts
Leaky ducts waste energy and make your furnace work harder. Verify that mechanical fasteners are in place at the joints and seal leaks with mastic or duct tape.

The Professional Touch
If any of this makes you nervous, give Freedom Heating and Coooling a call at (205) 444-4444 to carry out a thorough inspection and maintenance on your furnace. We’re here to help keep your family safe and prevent a furnace shutdown this winter.