Even though Playa Vista, CA, doesn’t normally experience extremely cold temperatures during the winter, your home’s gas furnace still plays a vital role in your comfort. A finely tuned furnace allows for precise temperature control. This not only improves comfort but also reduces your heating expenses. Keep reading to learn 13 must-know gas furnace maintenance tips. You can perform some of these tips on your own, but many are best left in the hands of a licensed technician.
Change the Air Filter
If you want your gas furnace to work at peak efficiency, you should change the air filter regularly. Before you remove the old filter, make a mental note of the direction the airflow is pointing on the filter frame, and make sure to turn the furnace off. Carefully insert the replacement filter in the same direction, making sure it fits snugly.
Improving indoor air quality, maximizing heating efficiency, and preventing dust and debris accumulation are all benefits of replacing your filter regularly. This should be done once every one to three months, depending on the type of filter you’re using.
Listen for Odd Sounds
If your gas furnace is making strange noises, this might be a sign of a serious problem. Banging sounds often indicate a delayed ignition or a broken heat exchanger. Clattering sounds could indicate a problem with the blower motor or loose parts. A squealing sound might be a sign of a motor or belt issue with the blower.
Get in touch with an HVAC professional right away if you hear any of these noises. Ignoring strange noises coming from your furnace can cause further damage, which will affect the performance of your heater. Ensuring the safe and efficient functioning of your gas furnace is the job of professional experts who can detect the sources of the odd noises and fix them.
Keep Vents Clean and Clear
For a gas furnace to work at its best, you must keep the air vents clean and clear. Make it a point to check them periodically, wiping them down with a cloth. This removes any dust that’s settled on the vents, which improves your home’s indoor air quality by reducing pollutants from circulating in the air. When wiping down the vents, take the vent plate out of the register and vacuum the areas that you can reach to remove any dust or debris that’s settled inside. It’s also important to place furniture and curtains away from any vents to prevent obstructions.
Test Carbon Monoxide Detectors
It’s very important to test carbon monoxide detectors regularly, particularly in houses that have gas furnaces. To make sure the detector works properly, press the test button until the alert sounds. Leaks from gas furnaces can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which is a colorless and odorless gas that can be deadly. By checking detectors on a regular basis, you can be sure that an alarm will sound in the case of a leak. A professional can help with the proper placement and installation of carbon monoxide detectors.
Clear Drain Pipes
Clearing the drain pipe on a gas furnace prevents water damage and ensures the system can operate efficiently. A professional will do this by locating the drain pipe and inspecting it for clogs or blockages. Not only does a clear drain pipe allow excess water to flow freely, but it also prevents corrosion and potential malfunctions. The frequency of clearing the drain pipe on a gas furnace depends on factors such as usage and environmental conditions. As a general guideline, it’s advisable to check and clear the drain pipe at least once a year during routine maintenance. However, if you notice any signs of water accumulation or suspect a clog, go ahead and schedule service more frequently.
Check the Exterior Unit for Obstructions
On a frequent basis, make sure the intake or exhaust vents are clear of any obstacles, leaves, or debris. This is especially important to prevent your gas furnace from overheating. It also helps the unit run more smoothly and last longer, which in turn will keep your house warm and safe.
Check Thermostat Settings
To get the most out of your gas furnace, you should be monitoring your thermostat settings on a regular basis. A programmable thermostat is an investment in efficiency that pays for itself over time. By adjusting settings to your liking, you can make sure that your house stays warm when you’re home and at a lower temperature when you’re away. This will lead to better heating efficiency and lower energy bills. A professional can provide you with a thermostat upgrade at your next maintenance appointment.
Inspect Flue Pipes
Your gas furnace most likely has one or two flue pipes. It’s very important that a professional check and clean these flue pipes on a regular basis. You can be on the lookout for rust, damage, or leaks in the pipes before cleaning them. Make sure to look inside the pipes periodically. Invest in professional flue pipe cleanings once a year to ensure they can effectively vent gases. If they aren’t working like they should, it puts you and your home at risk for gas poisoning.
Check Gas Connections
Regularly checking gas connections in homes with gas furnaces is vital for safety. Your annual maintenance appointment will include inspecting connections for any signs of wear, damage, or leaks. Due to the potential risks and complexities, it’s highly recommended to have a licensed technician perform a comprehensive check. Timely identification and resolution of issues ensure the secure and efficient operation of gas heating systems.
Monitor System Cycle
By keeping an eye on the gas furnace throughout its startup, operation, and shutdown stages, you can track its system cycle. Be wary of any strange instances, such as sudden restarts or excessive cycling. Inconsistent functioning could be an indication of thermostat or component problems. By quickly identifying any unusual issues, you can get expert help to avoid major problems. This not only increases the furnace’s efficiency but also its lifespan.
Test Emergency Shut-Off
If a gas furnace has an emergency shut-off, you can make sure it works by finding the switch and pushing it. It’s important to test the shut-off every few weeks to make sure it works properly in case of an emergency or failure.
Schedule Professional Maintenance
As part of routine gas furnace maintenance, experts check, clean, and tune up all of your system’s moving parts. They clean the heat exchanger and burners, oil the moving components, check the flue system, and look for wear indicators.
Maintaining a furnace on a regular basis keeps it running efficiently, increases its lifespan, and reduces the likelihood of malfunctions. Most experts agree that gas furnaces last the longest when they receive annual professional maintenance.
Belle Air Services helps Playa Vista homeowners improve the safety and comfort of their homes with a variety of heating and cooling services. We also offer heat pump installations, indoor air quality testing, and ductless HVAC services. Contact us today to learn more.