When the long, cold days of winter keep dragging on, you want your furnace to keep plugging away. If your furnace is old, you may start to worry about it as the season winds down and the furnace has worked hard all winter. Here are some things you can monitor and do to help your furnace make it through the winter.
Stay Alert For Problems
Don't ignore unusual sounds or behaviors, as these could indicate your furnace has a problem that may escalate and cause your heating system to shut down. Instead, call a heating repair service right away. One thing to pay attention to is how long your furnace runs. If it doesn't shut off, there could be a problem with the thermostat or wiring to the furnace. If your furnace doesn't run very long and shuts on and off often, that could be a sign the furnace is dirty inside or needs repairs. That condition is called short-cycling, and it can cause your furnace to shut down as a safety response.
Keep Dust Out Of The Furnace
The main way to keep dust out of the furnace is to change the filter on schedule. Use a reminder service or mark the date on your calendar so you don't forget. The simple task of changing a filter doesn't seem all that important, but a dirty filter can cause damage to your furnace and leave you without heat. Also, keep the area around your furnace free of dust.
If your furnace is in the basement, you may not go down there too often, but try to dust around the furnace occasionally so dust doesn't get sucked into the furnace to clog up the blower. When the blower gets caked with dust, the heating repair technician has to pull it out of the furnace to clean it off and may even have to make repairs to the blower motor if it was damaged.
Change The Battery In The Carbon Monoxide Detector
Your furnace should have a carbon monoxide detector nearby that monitors for signs of furnace trouble. It's important to change the batteries at the start of the season so the alarm will sound if the furnace develops a problem that allows gases to leak into your home. This type of problem requires immediate repair. The heat exchanger might be cracked, or there could be a clog in the flue.
Leave Heating Repairs To A Professional
If your furnace is still under warranty, work should always be done by a professional so you don't void your warranty. Even if your furnace is so old it isn't under warranty, you should call a repair service rather than do DIY repairs for safety reasons. Whether you have an electric or gas furnace, a furnace is dangerous to work on, and mistakes could be costly if you expose your family to dangerous combustion gases or electrical problems.
Contact a local heating company for more tips or help with repairs and maintenance.