Regularly cleaning your furnace is an important task to keep on your home maintenance schedule. A dirty furnace will burn higher amounts of fuel as well as work less effectively than a clean furnace. A system that is scheduled to last for 10-15 years might even last as long as 20 years with the correct maintenance. And while operating, a clean system will provide more heat for less cost.
With regularly cleanings you can rest easy that your furnace will heat your home keep you comfortable and safe all year long.
INSIDE YOUR FURNACE
There are 3 basic parts of your furnace that can be impacted by the presence of dirt: the filter system, the blower, and the heat exchanger. You must know how to extend the life of your current furnace and prevent costly repairs.
Inside your furnace is a squirrel cage fan that circulates the air in your home. Without regular cleanings, dust accumulates much faster on your furnace filters. If you operate your system with plugged filters you run the risk of overheating you blower motor. If this happens your furnace will shut off leaving you with no heat until you pay a service company to come and say you should have cleaned your filter and fan.
A clean efficiently running furnace provides safe economical heat. A furnace that is not running at peak performance can be dangerous. Carbon Monoxide is a natural product of combustion. Virtually every gas furnace produces some Carbon Monoxide, which is usually carried away from your home through the furnace’s exhaust venting. A clean, efficiently burning gas furnace produces very small amounts of carbon monoxide, while a dirty, inefficiently burning one can produce higher amounts. Carbon Monoxide is odorless and colorless. It causes flu-like symptoms, disorientation, confusion, and even death.
It is highly recommended that you have your furnace cleaned and checked every year. The older the furnace, the more important this service is. Newer gas furnaces are equipped with many features that shut the furnace off when a problem is detected. Older furnaces have no such devices. Over time, the furnaces can develop small cracks in the heat exchanger chambers. These cracks may not be visible to the naked eye. It is through these cracks that Carbon Monoxide can leak into your home.
Your home’s heating system is an incredibly durable collection of ducts and machinery. But without the proper cleaning, that system will soon show signs of wear and require cleaning and possibly maintenance to keep it operational. It’s important to get regular cleanings for your entire heating system.
THINGS TO KNOW
- Keep the area around your furnace clean and unobstructed
- Keep your burner area of your furnace clean
- Furnaces that require lubrication on the motors and bearings should be attended to by a qualified heating professional once a year.
- Do not have anything combustible within six inches of your smoke pipe
- Do not close off more than 20% of your registers in your house. This can cause high resistance and unnecessary heat build- up in your furnace.
- Do not store combustible material such as paint thinners, gasoline, etc. Near your furnace.