A gas furnace is a fairly reliable, efficient way to keep your family warm through the frigid winter months. But a gas furnace, like any other major appliance, requires a bit of maintenance work to keep the unit running efficiently. Due to the presence of gas, the furnace also requires maintenance to ensure your home and family remain safe.
Here are three gas furnace maintenance checks that can keep you safe and your furnace efficient. Consider calling in a professional heating repair technician, like one from Alliance Heating & Cooling LLC, to perform the checks to ensure that everything is operating as smoothly as possible.
A gas furnace takes in a small amount of gas, which is then lit by a pilot light to provide the heat needed to fuel the system. The burning of the gas produces a potentially deadly gas called carbon dioxide. Your furnace has a separate vent in place to carry this carbon dioxide up through the unit and out of your home via either the chimney or another vent pipe that protrudes from your roof.
Blockages in the top of the vent, or within the vent, can keep the gas from escaping completely or at all. The gas can start to interfere with the strength of the pilot light, which will cause your furnace to cycle on and off too fast. Excessive buildups can cause the gas to start leaking into your home.
You can minimize this risk by regularly checking your vents for debris or calling in an HVAC technician to check the vents for both cracks and debris that can lead to a gas leak issue.
Keep a carbon monoxide alarm mounted near the furnace in case a leak does occur. The alarm will notify you and your family of the leak with sufficient time for you to leave the home and notify an HVAC company for emergency services.
Filter and Register Cleaning
If you own a central air conditioner, you should already know how important it is to change a unit's air filter. The air filter traps the debris and dirt from incoming air and can eventually become so clogged that no more air passes through the system. A furnace can't heat air that isn't there to be heated. Consult your owner's manual for a guide on how often to change or clean your filter, but once a month is often sufficient.
But don't stop at changing your filter. You also need to clean any dust and small debris off the registers or air vents inside your home. This dust and debris can end up inside your system and plug up the air filter again, which leads to an inefficient unit.
Yearly All-Around Maintenance
You should also check to make sure the burner assembly and pilot light are cleaned and free of debris. But an easier way to go about this process is to simply call in an HVAC technician once a year, ahead of winter, to check for any dirty, broken, or cracked parts and to make the fixes accordingly.
This once a year charge is worth the investment since you will know going forward that the unit will be as safe and as efficient as possible for the winter ahead.