Furnace Maintenance and Cleaning: DIY Tips and Pro Steps

Furnace Maintenance And Cleaning: DIY Tips and Pro Steps.

Because your furnace is a complex mechanical system, it deserves some regular love and attention. Here at Broadley’s Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning we get a lot of questions about how best to maintain and extend the life of a furnace and keep maintenance costs under control. We have put together this brief guide of DIY and Pro tips to help you get the most out of your heating system.

Schedule Regular Maintenance For Your Furnace

Understand Your Furnace

Your furnace is the unsung hero of our cold winter months in New Jersey. And keeping it in tip top shape is important for maintaining your comfort and safety. 

And while there are many tasks that a homeowner can perform to help take care of the HVAC system, it is important to remember that your furnace burns combustible fuel to generate heat. There are some components and parts that are best serviced by a trained and licensed technician.

Furnace Components

Your furnace is comprised of these components:

  • Combustion chamber
  • Blower
  • Air filtration system including the air filter
  • Motorized bearing and belts
  • Air ducts

How A Home Heating System Works

Your furnace generates heat by igniting its “fuel source” such as gas or oil with the burner and then burning that fuel in the combustion chamber. The blower – powered by a motor – blows or pushes the heated air through the air filtration system and through the air ducts and into individual rooms.

In the tune-up process, your technician will not only inspect the mechanical workings of your furnace but also check and clean all of the motorized bearings, nozzle and drive belts as well as change out the air filter.

Why Furnace Preventative Maintenance Is Essential

There are several reasons why preventative maintenance is an essential part of your home investment.

  • Improved Air Quality
  • Energy Efficiency – save money on energy bills. An Energy Star rated furnace will be able to help you determine just how efficient your system is.
  • Improved and Consistent Comfort

Click Here for Video: Schedule Your Annual Heater Tuneup and Safety Inspection with Broadley’s

Routine Furnace Maintenance: When to Call A Professional

It is important to create an annual furnace maintenance plan. Many homeowners find it useful to enroll in one of the many service plans offered by your HVAC company. Doing so can put you on a schedule so that you don’t forget to get your annual system check. Many service plans offer discounts and preferred response times when there is a problem.

What A Professional Furnace Check-and-Clean Includes

Your HVAC technician has been trained to service all components of your furnace. A thorough servicing will clean and maintain the blower and the blower compartment of any dust or soot. Your technician will inspect and clean the combustion chamber of your furnace. 

Whether your furnace is a gas furnace, oil burning or propane, your technician will perform troubleshooting tests such as a backdrafting test, to make sure that your system is running safely and efficiently.

Your technician will also examine the chimney and the exhaust flue as well inspect and adjust the barometric damper as inspect and adjust the floor vents. All belts will be inspected for signs of wear and replaced if needed.

Schedule A Furnace Service

DIY Gas Furnace Maintenance

Changing The Air Filter Every Three Months Is Recommended

While we always recommend that your furnace be serviced by a licensed technician, there are several tasks that can be performed by the homeowner. 

Maintaining good air quality as part of a regular system maintenance should be a regular DIY task. Your furnace filter should be changed out roughly every 90 days or so depending on the age of your furnace. If you suffer from allergies or other breathing problems, changing your air filter every 30-60 days may help.

It is also important to make sure that your furnace is free and clear of any debris that might impede air circulation.

DIY Furnace Maintenance Tips

At Broadley’s, we view ourselves as partners with our customers. That is why we are happy to share some DIY tips that you can employ as part of your furnace tune-up.

You simply need a few basic tools and materials that cost little and can save you the cost of a service visit.

Use a towel or a wash cloth to wipe off any soot or buildup you may see around your system. 

As we mentioned already, make sure the air filter is changed regularly. 

Check your Carbon Monoxide Detector to make sure it’s working properly. This will let you know if your system is leaking dangerous gas. 

Furnace Maintenance and Efficiency: Frequently-Asked Questions

What time of year is best for furnace maintenance?

There are two schools of thought on when is the best time for your furnace tune-up. But we recommend scheduling your heating tune-up for the fall.

How do I service my furnace myself?

Generally speaking, it is important to have a licensed technician perform your service. But there are some DIY tasks such as cleaning around the furnace, changing out the filter and checking for leaks and drafts that can help save you both time and money. 

How do you maintain a heater?

In short – you maintain your heater by changing out your air filter every 90 days or once a month during peak heating season or if you suffer from allergies or asthma. You schedule an annual heater tune-up to make sure that your system is operating safely, efficiently and providing you with good air quality.