Keeping Those Drains On Point

« Back to Home

Five Furnace Maintenance Tips For Handy Homeowners

Posted on

If you own a furnace but don't know much about it, you may wonder if you need to call in a maintenance and repair expert for any maintenance issues or if you can do them yourself. And while it's often best to have a professional, such as, do repair work (especially major repair work), it's also true that you can do minor maintenance work on the unit yourself between annual maintenance appointments. Here are five types of maintenance you can and should perform regularly to keep your furnace in tip-top condition. Remember to switch off all power before doing maintenance work.

1. Clean and dust inside the furnace's blower assembly or combustion chamber

Propane furnaces and natural gas furnaces have an easy-to-access blower assembly area, but for oil furnaces the only inside part you should be cleaning is inside the combustion chamber (make sure the furnace is totally switched off first). The inside of the combustion chamber needs to be cleaned because otherwise the buildup will speed up corrosion of the chamber walls.

2. Lubricate bearings

Sometimes the blower bearings and motor bearings will need to be oiled. If you have enough knowledge of furnaces to locate these bearings on your model, you can lubricate them once per year, being careful to only apply a tiny amount of lubrication.

3. Change the filters

Just like an AC unit, your furnace deals with a lot of air and therefore needs a filter to keep it from getting clogged up with dust. You'll need to change the filter periodically, especially during cold weather when you're using the furnace on a regular basis. In fact, it's recommended that you change it every few months, not just once per year when you're doing fall maintenance. In addition to air filters, too, your furnace may have fuel filters that will need to be changed regularly (found on oil burning models). Be sure to shut off the oil valve before replacing this filter.

4. Check drive belt

Drive belts, like so many moving parts, can wear out over time. Signs to look for include cracking, fraying, and other obvious signs of wear. If you identify such signs, it's best to get the belt replaced.

5. Inspect everything

Some part of the furnace shouldn't be opened up by a non-professional, but everything else should be subject to your rigorous visual inspection. If you check your furnace over like this every time you do maintenance, you're more likely to be able to identify anything that looks wrong or out of place. Plus you can look for obvious problems, like holes in the flue pipe.