Cooler temperatures are right around the corner. This means that homeowners are starting to think about firing up their furnaces for the first time in months. A functional furnace is a necessity if you want to keep your home's interior warm and comfortable.
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when it comes to caring for your home's heating system is failing to invest in preventative maintenance. A furnace failure can be costly to repair, and it can lead to other problems like frozen pipes and uncomfortable living conditions.
Here are three simple preventative maintenance tasks that you can complete today to help you prevent your furnace from failing during the upcoming winter season.
1. Replace the Air Filter
All of the hot air produced by your furnace is drawn into the appliance from the outside environment. This air passes through a filter as it moves from the outdoors into your furnace.
The air filter is responsible for eliminating dust, allergens, and other types of airborne contaminants from the outdoor air supply. Without a functional air filter, the warm air that is delivered throughout your home would be of poor quality.
If you didn't replace your air filter at the end of the last heating season, take the time to install a new air filter before firing up your furnace.
A dirty or damaged air filter makes it harder for your furnace to draw in a constant supply of air. The furnace will work harder to heat your home, causing a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on major mechanical components. Experts suggest that you replace your air filter at least once every 90 days to avoid the development of more serious furnace problems.
2. Lubricate Moving Parts
There are many moving parts in modern heating systems. You will find a blower fan, blower motor, and heat exchanger in almost every type of forced-air heating system. These moving components must be maintained in order to retain their full range of motion.
You will need to lubricate all of the moving parts within your furnace before the winter season to ensure that your furnace is capable of performing efficiently. Be sure that you are using non-detergent motor oil to lubricate your furnace. This type of oil has a high level of viscosity, and it won't congeal and clog up your furnace components over time. If you don't take the time to lubricate the moving components in your heating system regularly, you could be faced with a major furnace malfunction in the future.
3. Inspect All Belts
A series of motor belts can be found in forced-air heating systems. These belts are responsible for helping to keep moving parts functioning properly and effectively. Furnace belts are typically made from a rubber compound that is designed to be as durable as possible. Despite this durability, all furnace belts are susceptible to damage over time.
A belt can dry out and become brittle. A moving part can nick a furnace belt, weakening the integrity of the belt. Furnace belts can even stretch out of shape over time, allowing for too much movement in the major components in your furnace.
Take the time to inspect each belt in your furnace for signs of damage or wear, then have an experienced HVAC technician replace any questionable belts before you start using your furnace this winter. Preventative maintenance is essential to the efficient and reliable performance of any modern furnace.
Invest in some simple preventative heater maintenance tasks today so that your furnace will be prepared to withstand the workload required to heat your home this winter.