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3 Gas Furnace Maintenance Checks That Keep You Safe

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Annual furnace maintenance checks serve many purposes. These yearly services help keep your furnace running well so that it can last for many years while also burning cleanly and efficiently. While a reliable and efficient furnace saves you money, it can also protect you from many potentially dangerous conditions. Every annual service will include several steps that help keep you and your family safe.

While your yearly furnace check-up will include many more steps than this, these three steps go a long way toward ensuring your furnace can operate safely all winter long.

1. Heat Exchanger Inspection

The burner might seem like the star of the show, but your heat exchanger is arguably the most critical item in your furnace. Without a heat exchanger, your furnace would constantly expose you to harmful exhaust gases. Instead, the byproducts of combustion can remain safely contained in the exhaust stream, with the heat exchanger acting as a heat transfer medium.

During an annual inspection, your service technician will examine the heat exchanger for signs of cracks or other damage. Any issues with the heat exchanger can allow hazardous gases to enter inhabited sections of your home, so this check is critical to maintaining the safe operation of your furnace. Damage isn't always easy to spot, so it's best to have a professional handle this task.

2. Safety Switch Inspection

Your furnace includes several safety switches that shut down the unit when dangerous conditions are detected. For example, if you have a high-efficiency furnace, it likely uses a draft inducer to push excess gas out of the combustion chamber. A pressure switch detects the presence of suction, ensuring your furnace will not turn on if there's a problem with the draft motor.

Part of any routine inspection includes examining and testing critical safety switches. Ensuring the proper operation of these switches will keep your furnace running well, and it will guarantee that your furnace shuts down if a dangerous failure does occur.

3. Vent Inspection

The exhaust flue is the last stop for combustion gases before they exit your home, and it's critical that it remains in good condition and has a proper slope. Your exhaust flue is likely PVC if you have a modern condensing furnace, while older furnaces typically use metal vents. Your inspection will always include a careful examination of the vent's condition to confirm that no leaks are present.

As with many other aspects of your furnace, detecting problems with the vent system requires experience and a trained eye. While you can check these items for issues yourself, you should still bring in a professional at least once per year to guarantee that your furnace is running efficiently. To learn more, contact residential heating maintenance services.