Furnace Maintenance:
What You Can do and When to Call a Professional


HVAC systems are important for every home. They keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer, both of which are vital, especially during extreme heat waves and cold snaps. However, it can't just be left alone to do its thing all of the time. Your system will need minor maintenance every now and then to keep it running at peak efficiency.

These maintenance tasks may seem unimportant, but they can prevent your system from having expensive major problems down the line and prevent you from needing to look at the cost of a new furnace. Some of the tasks we'll mention below can be done by yourself, while others require an HVAC professional-and a key example of the former is replacing your furnace's air filter.


Filter Replacement

When was the last time you considered your furnace's filter? You may need to replace it quickly if the answer is more than three months ago. The process for replacing your furnace's air filter is pretty easy. First, locate the service panel and see if it tells you what filter you need. If not, you'll need to cut power to the furnace, open the panel, and examine the filter to see what type it is and the size you need.

Once you have the right filter, you'll start by once again cutting power to the furnace. Then, you'll open the service panel and remove the filter, paying attention to how it needs to be put in. Next, you place the filter in the same way the other one was, close the panel, and turn the system back on. This change needs to be done either once every three months or once every month, depending on how often you're running the furnace. The new filter should allow the furnace to "breathe" better since the dust and debris that clogged up the other filter is gone.

In other words, the furnace should work better and quieter than before. If it starts making a new noise, sounds like it's working harder than usual, or is showcasing some other anomaly, turn it off and contact an HVAC professional.


Other Maintenance Tasks

Now that you've taken care of that, it may be time to go ahead and perform a basic maintenance check while it's on your mind. Look for where excess dust is building up or where mold may be growing. These are signs that something may be wrong with the system.

Leaky pipes are another thing to watch for; also, whether your furnace reacts to your thermostat correctly or not is something else to watch for. If you can, check the age of your furnace as well. Don't try to fix any of the problems you discover during this basic check. Many of these issues will require the system to be taken apart to some extent and for old parts to be removed and replaced. On top of the equipment being sensitive and fragile, you likely don't have access to these parts at all. Reach out and schedule an appointment with HVAC professionals if you notice any issues, whether we mentioned them here or not.


HVAC Professional Maintenance

We've mentioned a few times that you may need to contact an HVAC technician to perform any repairs. The reason for this is twofold: you likely don't have the expertise to diagnose the problems with an HVAC system, and you also probably don't have access to the parts. These systems are important and are made of many sensitive parts, so even if you have access to the pieces you need, you should still contact an HVAC technician to perform any repairs.

They don't only need to be contacted for repairs, though. You can also schedule an annual maintenance appointment. Scheduling your appointment at the right time is imperative as HVAC technicians tend to be busier during some parts of the year than others.

For example, people start to use their furnaces more as it gets colder, which means they'll start to notice furnace problems and make repair appointments at the beginning of winter. To avoid having your appointment being last on a long list, try scheduling it in the fall.

These appointments allow the technician to thoroughly check your system, diagnose problems early, and suggest follow-up repair appointments as necessary so you can keep your system up and running for as long as possible.


Keeping Your Furnace Running at Its Best

In the end, your furnace is far too important to your home for you to ignore. Check and replace its air filter every three months and contact a technician as soon as a problem arises.

Failing to do this could cause more problems to arise and possibly create a dangerous situation.