It’s critical to maintain your furnace so that it’s running safely and efficiently. Any heating system needs to have seasonal maintenance. If your furnace isn’t in peak working order, it can be deadly. Nearly every gas furnace emits some carbon monoxide, but it is usually directed away from your home by the furnace’s venting system.
A Simple Furnace Tune-Up
It’s simple enough to do yourself. The first thing you need to do is disconnect the power and fuel. If you can’t find a switch near the furnace, check the electrical panel, and turn off the proper breaker. The shut-off valve for the gas line is near the black gas line connected to the furnace. Turn the shut-off valve so that it is perpendicular to the gas line.
Next, open the furnace door. Vacuum the base of the furnace and the gas burners with a vacuum cleaner that has a long attachment. Clean any loose dust out of all the crevices.
During the heating season, check the furnace filter monthly. Replace the filter at least three or four times every year. Try to get in the habit of changing it as part of your seasonal maintenance.
Adjust the Tension of the Belt, and Oil the Internal Bearings.
While you’re at it, inspect the furnace’s fan belt that drives the blower. Ensure there are not damaged belts. Check the tension by pushing down on the center of the belt. There should be about one-half to three-quarters of an inch of slack. If it doesn’t feel taut or has more slack that that, you can tighten the belt by loosening the attachment bracket. Move the motor assembly to tighten the belt. Hold the motor in place while you maintain the belt’s tension. Then, tighten the attachment bracket.
You will need to oil the bearings if your furnace is older or if it uses a motor that doesn’t have permanently sealed bearings. Locate the bearing caps. They might be on the bearing shaft. Apply a few drops of lightweight oil below the caps. Don’t add too much, or you might over-oil the bearings.
When you’ve completed the tune-up, replace the furnace cover, and turn on the gas and electricity. If necessary, relight the pilot light. These simple maintenance tasks will keep your furnace running properly all season.
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