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Just like cooling systems and air conditioning are lifesavers in the warm summer months, a functional furnace is essential during winter months to keep your home comfortable, if not downright cozy.
If you have ever experienced waking up in the middle of a cold, winter night to a house that feels like a freezer because your furnace has stopped working, you know it’s like waking up to a nightmare! The pets, pipes, and your family could freeze! This can certainly be avoided if you have a furnace maintenance plan.
Most furnaces require very little maintenance, but a bit of preventative care is worth it when you consider the amount of trouble and expense a sudden furnace breakdown can cause.
1) Check the filter(s) regularly, ideally monthly. You can check your filters yourself: Take the filter out and have a look at it. If it is dirty, either clean or replace the filter.
2) Run your furnace properly. This means:
Beyond filter maintenance and proper operation, you’ll want to engage a furnace professional for all other furnace maintenance. You might be very handy around the house, but a heating expert has the skills and knowledge to give your furnace the proper care it needs. They can handle any issue you may have.
Before the cold sets in, it’s prudent to have a furnace technician give your system a thorough check. They will expertly vacuum out the unit, add lubrication to the motor, ensure that the pilot light is working correctly, and more.
While they’re at it, they will also troubleshoot the unit for problems like strange noises, irregular or short cycling (if the furnace runs for a very short period before shutting off), soot deposits, and pilot light irregularities (the flames should be blue and evenly burning). It's at this point that you should bring up any concerns you have about your furnace. Maybe you're thinking about an upgrade; they can give you information and recommend the one that is right for you.
So keep up with your furnace maintenance plan, and if something is amiss, get it addressed right away, before the winter storms hit, so you, your pets, and your family can sleep safely.