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HVAC Education, Buying Tips, Furnaces, Heat Pumps, Technology

How to Maintain and Service Your Home Furnace

Maintenance and service are important to protect your furnace – the unit itself and the investment in it. Be sure to have an HVAC professional perform an annual service visit in the fall, before the heating season begins, and complete your own maintenance in-between to keep your system in the best condition.

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Regular Furnace Maintenance

These are the steps that your local expert will likely take during your routine maintenance service call:

  1. Check and potentially replace or clean the filter
  2. Check thermostat operation
  3. Run the furnace in heating mode and record temperature readings from both the return air ducts and the supply or heating ducts, to be sure the heating output is within manufacturer’s specifications
  4. In the combustion chamber, check and clean the burner, crossover, and igniter
  5. Check and adjust the gas valve
  6. On older furnaces, evaluate, clean, and tune the pilot light system
  7. Clean the heat exchanger and check for cracks, holes, or leaks
  8. Inspect and clean the blower and blower motor (your technician might need to remove the blower)
  9. Check for burned wires or high-temperature problems
  10. Inspect the flue pipe and ductwork
  11. Check for leaks in the gas line and other fuel supply components

Troubleshooting

If your furnace is not working, there are a few things to check:

  • Ensure the power switch is turned on
  • Check the thermostat—adjust the temperature up by at least five degrees to see if the furnace turns on
  • Check the circuit breakers or fuse
  • Check and potentially replace or clean the filter
  • Check the fuel supply
    • Oil level in an oil furnace
    • Ensure gas supply to home and furnace is turned on
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