When the warmth of summer leaves us to face the cold and biting chill of winter, there is one thing that we know we can count on to keep ourselves and our families safe and comfortable: the furnace. In order for your furnace to properly care for you and your loved ones this winter, it is important that you take care of your furnace!

The best time to perform furnace maintenance is before the cold weather hits. Checking and prepping your furnace only takes a little bit of your time and ensures that your furnace will be running efficiently and effectively when you need it most!

The following list provides basic furnace maintenance that you can perform yourself. While performing these basic steps will help maintain your furnace, it is still important to schedule a professional inspection by a licensed HVAC technician.

Things you will need to perform basic furnace maintenance:

  • Air filter
  • Screwdriver
  • Vacuum

Replace the air filter in your furnace every month

  • Locate the filter and pull it out. Slide the new filter into the slot, using the arrows on the side of the new filter frame as a reference.
  • Consider upgrading your current filter.
  • A pleated filter, HEPA filter, or electrostatic filter will increase the energy efficiency of your furnace, allowing warm air to flow unimpeded throughout your home.

Clean your air vents and ducts

  • Remove the vent covers with a screwdriver. Use the extension hose of your vacuum to remove dust. When you have replaced the cover, wipe down the surface of the vent exterior.

Inspect the blower belts for cracks

  • Turn off the power to the furnace at the main circuit breaker. Use a screwdriver to remove the steel cover of the air handler. The blower belt is the largest rubber belt that you see. Check the belt for cracks. Replace the belt if any cracks are found. When you are finished, tightly close the blower doors.

Bleed your valves

  • If you have a hot-water radiator, open the valves slightly and close them again when water starts to appear. This will keep water from freezing in the pipes.

Keep the area around your furnace unit clean and free of obstructions

  • Sweep often and remove all debris. This helps to keep the filter clean and prevent accidental fires.

Open all your air vents

  • Locate the lever switch directly to the side of the vent. Move the switch until the vents are completely open. Keeping airways open prevents the unit from overworking itself.

Utilize a programmable thermostat

  • This device will enable you to set the temperature of the furnace for different times of the day. By programming your thermostat you will increase the efficiency of your furnace as well as reduce your household energy consumption, effectively lowering your energy bill.

Short on time? The professionals at Hobson Plumbing and Heating will gladly come to your home or office to perform a regular maintenance inspection. We have the experience and expertise to repair, replace, or install a new furnace and service any existing problems such as sensor, electrical or flame issues, clogged filters, thermostat problems or a malfunctioning ignition control. We know what you need to get through the upcoming winter. Our live staff is available 24 hours a day to answer any questions, so give us a call today!