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The Importance of Furnace Maintenance

The Importance of Annual Furnace Cleanings & Tune-Ups

One thing that can strike fear into the heart of any homeowner is when there is a possibility of a large system failure in the house. Have you ever woken up on a cold morning and knew that something was wrong with your furnace? One way to try and prevent problems from occurring in the middle of a cold night is with a routine inspection. Cleanings and tune-ups are done in the late summer or fall when a problem can be discovered before there is a need for the furnace to be on. An annual inspection of a furnace could turn up a dangerous leak that has developed, or you could find a hose that needs to be replaced.
Spending money on a furnace inspection might seem like a waste of time and money, but it isn’t. Just think how much more expensive it would be to call a technician at 3 a.m. when you realize your furnace isn’t working. The preventative maintenance on the furnace could have caught any potential problems earlier in the year, and it could have been repaired before the weather turned colder. Then, you wouldn’t be freezing in the middle of the night and the HVAC person could be in their own warm home, waiting for a different emergency call in the night.

Gas & Carbon Monoxide Leaks
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless deadly gas. Because you can’t see, taste, or smell it, carbon monoxide can kill you before you know it’s there. It’s important to have a professional check the furnace connections to flue pipes and venting systems to the outside of the home for signs of corrosion, rust, gaps, or holes. They should also check the combustion chamber and internal heat exchanger for cracks, metal fatigue or corrosion and be sure they are clean and free of debris. The service technician will also check burners and ignition systems. A flame that is mostly yellow in color in natural gas-fired furnaces is often a sign fuel is not burning completely and higher levels of carbon monoxide are being released. Finally, furnace filters and filtering systems should be inspected for dirt or blockages.
Propane and natural gas are both very flammable, so you don’t want any of these gases escaping into the rest of your house. When a HVAC technician comes into your house, they have tools that search for any type of gas leak in the system. Even a small gas leak can build up over time and leave other gases in your basement or utility room, or else it could put pressure on the hose and make the leak bigger. An inspection can find this leak before it becomes hazardous to your health or your family’s health.

Corrosion
You might not realize that a furnace is prone to electrical problems, but it is prone to moisture as well. There are lots of pieces that come into a furnace that provide high heat. Sometimes pieces will sweat or will be exposed to a lot of condensation. Any type of water is not welcome in a furnace and it can corrode the components that are needed in order to work. Replacing those parts is needed in order for the furnace to function properly

Air Flow Problems
When the furnace is running, there are devices used that can measure the air output from certain ducts. When the air isn’t flowing like it should be, there is obviously a problem. Whether it is something that fell into the duct or something that needs to be cleaned out, it will be discovered before the room is freezing cold in the winter. There are also times when the duct work doesn’t allow for proper flow to a certain region or room of the home. A HVAC technician can offer suggestions on how to increase the air flow to that room so it can be comfortable again, even during the cold months.

Author Resource: Jerry Brockman, 21210 Eaton Avenue in Farmington, Minnesota