The weather is warming up – surely – as we inch closer towards spring, but now that we’ve pushed the clocks forward, the mornings are going to be darker and colder. This means that you are going to be using your furnace more in the early hours before work. It also means that if you are having issues with your furnace, it is time to make those repairs you’ve meaning to make. A tune-up may be nice as well. Over the course of a winter season, our furnaces can take a serious hit from overuse. Here are some easy furnace troubleshooting and tune-up tips for DIYers.
- Vacuum and clean your furnace registers. Your furnace registers are the gateways of your heating system. You have probably noticed them around your home – they look like little gates and warm air blows out of them when your furnace is on. It is important to make sure these registers are clean and don’t having anything blocking the air. You can easily clean your register gates with a high-powered vacuum to remove dust and other detritus.
- Change the filter on a monthly basis. Your furnace’s filter is essential when it comes to keeping out all the large pieces of debris that could get sucked into your furnace and into your home. With a filter, the large pieces of debris could wind up damaging the unit or causing health problems. After a while, filters become dirty and they can cause your furnace to perform inefficiently. So, you want to make sure that you swap out your old filter for a new one. Not only are filters incredibly easy to install – they are also incredibly affordable.
- Keep your ear out for off sounds and smells. Strange sounds and pungent odors are usually the first signs of a furnace breakdown. If you notice sounds and odors that persist longer than your furnace’s warm up phase, you may have a problem on your hands. Furnaces tend to make a certain sound or create a smell when they start up – like a car – but it should go away. If it doesn’t, something may be wrong.
- Lubricate the blower motor. The blower motor is an essential component of your furnace – it is a little bit like your heating system’s engine. If the blower motor is not operating efficiently, there is a good chance that you need to apply lubrication. If you don’t lubricate, you could wind up with a serious problem on your hands – even a broken motor. Lubricating the motor is both easy and doesn’t take a long time.
- Perform a visual inspection. An essential part of the troubleshooting and tune-up process is performing a visual inspection. You want to keep your eyes out for a few things, like frayed wires, broken parts, or a faulty fan blade. Who knows, you may notice something else that you wouldn’t have otherwise caught if you didn’t do a visual inspection. If you can make the fix on your own, you should – but if you don’t know what you are doing, you probably want to call the professionals.