The last thing you'd want in the middle of winter is for your furnace to suddenly stop working. This is a real possibility. Although furnaces are designed and manufactured to be very durable, they still need some maintenance to ensure they stay in optimum working condition.
Maintaining a furnace may seem like a rather difficult thing to do. You can always ask for professional furnace repair services if you're not feeling up to the task. However, if you're in the mood, there are a few things you can do to help keep your furnace burning for longer.
Carry Out Regular Visual Inspections
You'd be surprised how much a simple visual inspection can accomplish. Simply using your eyes to inspect certain parts of the system can help you to spot potential problems. For example, you should inspect the flue pipe regularly to ensure there are no holes or breaks in the system. Carbon monoxide can escape through these gaps and into your home.
Holes can be patched using foil tape; however, if the flue pipe is corroded, you should replace it. You should also check the flame to ensure it's blue. A yellow flame tells you that the burners are dirty.
Replace the Filters
There are two main filters in furnaces: oil filters and air filters. Oil filters can be found in furnaces that are powered using oil. These filters can be clogged by impurities which are not uncommon in oil. The dirty filter can be easily replaced.
If you have a forced-air furnace, then it will have an air filter. Air carries a lot of impurities, and this can be especially true if you live in certain areas. Disposable filters should be replaced once every month, and if you're using reusable filters, you should have them cleaned every month.
Ensure the Flame Sensor is Clean
One thing that could prevent your furnace from lighting is a dirty flame sensor. These sensors can become coated by residue after some time. Lightly clean the surface of the sensor using a fine emery cloth to remove the coating.
Adjust or Replace the Belt
If your furnace blower is belt driven, the belt may need to be adjusted occasionally. If the belt starts to show cracks or is fraying in certain areas, it's a good idea to replace it immediately. Ensure any new belt you install is properly tensioned or get a professional to do this for you.