Spring Maintenance Tips For Your Furnace

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Just because summer is almost here doesn't mean you can completely forget about your furnace. Ensuring it doesn't use unnecessary energy over the warm months, as well as making sure it fires up easily come fall, requires a bit of end-of-season maintenance. The following tips can help you close down the furnace properly for the season so you can avoid issues later.

Turn it off

If you have an electric furnace, switching it off is as simple as switching the thermostat from "heat" to "cool."  There is generally nothing else you need to do. If you have a gas furnace, though, the pilot light will remain on all summer unless you turn it off. Most newer furnaces come with a simple valve you can close so no gas is burned by the pilot light when the furnace is not in use. Once the heating season returns, you can restart the pilot light with a push of the button. This is because once the valve is reopened, most furnaces have a push button ignition that requires no special techniques to uses. If you have an older furnace that doesn't have this feature, consult with an HVAC tech before turning off the pilot light.

Get the dust out

It can be tempting to shut it off and forget it until fall, but then chances are that it will get fired up in fall without being properly cleaned. Take a few minutes in spring to actually clean out the furnace, and it will run better, plus you won't have that stinky burnt-dust odor when you turn it on for the first time in a few months. Begin by pulling out the old filters. Then, use the hose of a vacuum cleaner to thoroughly clean out the filter housing. Next, remove the access panel on the side of the furnace and use the vacuum to remove the dust that builds up on the furnace fan and blower and on the burner plate. This is also a good time to check the belts that attach the motor to the blower. If any are looking cracked or worn, you need to have them replaced before the next heating season. Finally, replace the filter with a new one so everything will be ready to go this fall.

With a little time and very minimal effort, you can ensure you start the next heating season on the right foot. Contact a residential furnace service if you need more help.

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