Furnace Maintenance Reduces the Need for Furnace Repairs

There is an old saying “A stitch in time, saves nine,” which refers to the value of taking care of maintenance before an item can develop a need for repair, but you would be amazed at how often furnace is ignored until it simply breaks down. It is such a simple concept. Furnace maintenance reduces the need for furnace repairs. Regularly scheduled maintenance is inexpensive when compared to furnace repairs or replacement. Maintenance is specifically designed to keep up with the small tasks that go with keeping your furnace in good operating order, and catching potential problems before they create a situation that will leave you bundled up against the cold while hitting the speed dial for your furnace repair man.

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At your scheduled furnace maintenance, your furnace repair person will use a checklist to ensure that your furnace is working at its best. These should include:

  • Making sure the furnace closet is clean
  • Changing the filters
  • Cleaning air ducts
  • Checking air ducts for loose hangers or leaks
  • Checking the fan
  • Checking belts and pulleys
  • Calibrating the thermostat
  • Checking the heating element – electric or gas
  • Inspecting the furnace for signs of water damage – from either a leaking roof or from a block
  • condensate drain
  • Lubricating all moving parts
  • If the furnace is gas, checking the ignition system
  • Inspecting gas pipes for leaks
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Each of these steps is a small thing. Yet these small things can add up to big repairs if they are neglected. Dust, dirt, slipping belts or pulleys can put extra strain on your furnace’s blower motor. The motor is essential to moving the warm air throughout your home. If it fails, for any reason, the safety mechanisms in your furnace will shut it down.

Your thermostatically controlled heater has a small circuit board that lets the thermostat, the thermocouple, and the igniter control when the heat and the blower kick on. You are probably already aware that dust is one of the great enemies of electronic circuitry. When the electricity goes off, or one of these components fails, the furnace will shut down and stop feeding gas through the lines. This is a safety feature designed to prevent gas buildup inside your home and to prevent overheating in the furnace closet. Systematically checking these components can help these essential parts last longer.

Air ducts might seem to be a part that shouldn’t make a lot of difference to your heating system, but they can affect the overall effectiveness of your furnace system. A thorough cleaning keeps from circulating dust and dirt throughout your home while the furnace blower is “on.” Making sure the support brackets are in good condition can keep the ducts from sagging and gaping at the seams. Holes or gaps in the ducts allow the warm air from the furnace to escape, heating areas other than your living space. That means less warm air for you, and a higher fuel bill with less efficiency.

All things wear out over time, but good maintenance can prolong the life of your furnace – particularly the moving parts. It will reduce the need for your furnace repairs. In addition, it will increase your furnace’s efficiency as well as save on fuel, which means that it will save money when it comes time to pay the utility bills. Good maintenance will catch those small problems, such as a worn belt or a fan motor that is about to go out before they can become a problem that affects the entire heater. Good maintenance isn’t a miracle cure – but it surely can help reduce or even eliminate the big repairs.