Furnaces: A DIY Guide

Taking care of your home and its systems is the responsibility of every homeowner. Few budgets will allow for a professional air conditioning maintenance service call for every little thing! A little DIY care can go a long way towards keeping your furnace – and your bank account – healthy!

Filters

Furnaces: A DIY GuideFilters don’t last forever. A pleated filter will last for about 3 months, max and a fiberglass filter will only give you about a month. Even a “permanent” filter needs to be cleaned regularly. Dirty filters put undue strain on the system, making it work harder and less efficiently. Dirty filters can also shorten the lifespan of your furnace.

Inspect your filters at least once a month. Clean and rinse permanent filters till water runs clear and allow each one to dry completely before putting it back into place. Replace dirty or worn pleated or fiberglass filters with fresh ones.

Leaks
A leaky system is a faulty system. Inspect your air return ducts and look for air leakage. Use special metal tape or mastic sealer from the hardware store to seal any obviously worn ducts, holes or cracks in the ducts. Look for white powdery dust on the surfaces – that’s damaging corrosion. Ask your air conditioning installation specialists how to clean corrosion.

Dust and Dirt
Remove the blower cover and give the unit a good cleaning at least once a year. Early fall is a good time since the system is about to get its winter workout! Remove the blower cover carefully, keeping track of how you took it off so you can put it back properly. Use a vacuum and all the attachments to get rid of the dust and dirt that prevent your system from working at its best.

It doesn’t take much more that time to provide a little TLC for your furnace. A bit of effort and a few dollars in materials will help keep your furnace in tip-top shape. Start with these basic maintenance tips and don’t forget to have an annual professional inspection and servicing.