Winter is quickly on its way to Northeast Ohio, and that means you’ll want your home warm and cozy inside while the temperatures continue to drop outside. Of course, many of us have already had our furnaces running this Autumn, since the weather can quickly change from a warm 70 degrees to a chilly 45 over the Fall season. If you haven’t scheduled an annual furnace check yet, now is definitely the time to consider getting one on your calendar.
An annual furnace check will ensure that your furnace is functioning properly so it won’t break down on a cold winter day. Maintaining your furnace will also help you avoid any unexpected and unwanted costs.
So, what exactly happens during an annual furnace check?
A typical furnace inspection should include the following:
• Checking all the components. The heat exchanger, burners, fan switch, gas line, flue pipe, belts and pulleys, etc. should all be inspected to make sure everything is functioning properly. The heat exchanger, in particular, can deteriorate over time, so it’s important to make sure there are no cracks in it. Cracks can produce carbon monoxide, which is colorless and odorless and causes serious health risks.
• Thermostat inspection. The thermostat should be checked and calibrated, because improperly calibrated thermostats can cause the furnace to run longer than necessary. The thermostat is also the component that you utilize the most as a homeowner, and is responsible for telling the system when to turn on and off. It’s vital that your thermostat is working properly to save energy and keep your home comfortable.
• Tightening of all electrical connections. Loose connections can cause safety hazards and improper operation of the furnace. All the connections will be tightened, and the voltage and current on the motors will be measured as well. If your furnace gets its energy from natural gas, the gas connections will all be checked to make sure they are in good working condition.
• Controls checked and observed. Problems can be identified by observing your system shutting on and off. The starting cycle will be checked to make sure it starts properly, operates as it should, and shuts off when it’s supposed to.
• Lubricate motors and bearings. If all the moving parts lack lubrication, this can cause friction and will increase the amount of energy used. Not only that, but improperly lubricated equipment will ultimately break down.
Before or after your annual furnace check
You can make sure to check, clean and/or change your air filter on a monthly basis. A dirty air filter will restrict the air flow to the unit and increase your energy costs, as well as possibly damage the unit. If you aren’t sure how to inspect the air filter on your furnace, our technicians will show you how.
Have questions about maintaining your furnace? If you’re in the Cleveland area, give us a call at 216-663-6462.