Maintain Your Furnace Now to Avoid a Pricey Repair Later

Furnace Maintenance Tips

These furnace maintenance tips will go a long way towards saving you money on costly repairs.

Happy 2018 everybody! Unless you’re in one of the parts of the country being hit by frigid cold, that is. What better way to ring in the new year than by getting frozen solid into a giant cartoon ice cube? While last year was the hottest year on record, all of the cold right now seems to have been concentrated within the borders of the continental United States.

Hopefully, you have some sort of method to stay warm. Perhaps a furnace? But what about if it goes on the fritz? Furnace repair can be pricey, so we’re here with the tips, tricks … and maybe even a hack or two to make sure your furnace is up to the frosty challenge it’ll continue to face this season.


Furnace hygiene

You brush your teeth and shower every day or so. Or at least, we hope you do! Your furnace needs the same sort of cleaning, though not quite as frequently. The air filter is one major component at risk of becoming too filthy to properly function.

“The most important piece of preventative maintenance you can do for your furnace is to replace the air filter,” advised the experts at American Home Shield (@AHS_Warranty). “It may seem obvious, but countless homeowners forget. Replacing the filter once a month can add years to the life of the furnace and reduce energy costs, as well as improve the air quality in your home and reduce the number of allergens floating around your home. We recommend creating a monthly maintenance calendar for the fridge or setting reminders on your smartphone to keep track of these recurring tasks.”

But there’s more to clean! The furnace repair company Air Ductors has an article on their site outlining other components you’ll want to keep shiny, and how to best go about doing so:

When cleaning the filter system, the blower assembly should be next in line. The blower is located right after the air filter. The little dust, dirt, and debris that penetrates through the air filter goes to the blower. You will have to clean the blower, pulleys, and belts in order to remove the accumulated dirt. Remove the panels that cover the filter to access the blower assembly. Use a damp cloth while cleaning the blower.

Furnace ducts are prone to damages especially when using a forced-air furnace. In such a case, one is required to clean ducts frequently using a high-powered vacuum cleaner. Once you have finished, cover all ducts to prevent air from leaking into the furnace.

Gas furnaces are hooked with a venting system. This ventilation at some point can block due to large amounts of dust and debris. Blocked ventilation is dangerous and can cause lots of hazards to the user. Using a large brush, clean all the vents. Begin by removing the vent cover and clean the inside using the vacuum cleaner.

But of course before you actually start cleaning anything, Air Ductors wants you to be sure you’re being safe:

Gas appliances can strike anytime so ensure you exercise safety measures. Before you begin cleaning and checking your gas furnace, turn it off. Ensure the power system and any circuits connected to the furnace are off. Check for gas leaks before you begin cleaning. Gas leaks can be very dangerous and can cause fatal accidents. If there are leaks, request a professional to fix the problem. Stay far away from the gas until it is fixed. Once everything is perfect, proceed with your cleaning.

Remember, no repair cost savings are worth your health or life!

Bring in a professional occasionally

Even if you’re all set to do the sort of cleaning we outlined above on your own, you’ll still want to bring in an expert every now and then to make sure everything is in working order. After all, spending a little bit of money now could save you from having to pay for costly repairs down the line.

As the Air Ductors experts suggest:

To avoid experiencing problems with your gas furnace, a thorough inspection will be helpful. Inspection done by professionals will save you the costs that would otherwise be spent on repairing parts of the gas furnace. Besides a general inspection, the fan components should also be checked. An inspection will reveal whether there is dust and other grime on it. Make it a routine to treat your gas furnace to a thorough inspection yearly.

Better safe than sorry

Unfortunately, even the best of furnaces can fall prey to unexpected circumstances. That’s why the American Home Shield experts advise you prepare for the unexpected: “A home warranty is a great way to protect your budget against unexpected repair costs, and ensure that covered items are professionally repaired or replaced.”

They also shared some survey results with us that might help emphasize the importance of furnace maintenance:

  • “Contractors say repairs to furnaces/HVAC and garbage disposals are most preventable.
  • “Heating is the no. 1 system contactors are called in to service during the winter and fall.
  • “More than four-fifths (82%) of contractors say consumers could avoid nearly half of all service repair calls if they follow the maintenance guidelines for major systems or appliances.
  • “In fact, nearly nine-in-10 (87%) contractors agree consumers could save hundreds of dollars by following maintenance guidelines.”

Take in all this advice, put it into action, and stay warm throughout the cold, cold winter without blowing you into the arms of a predatory bad credit loan or a sketchy payday loan. No heat in the winter is a true emergency, but your finances could be feeling the negative consequences all year long.

For even more help staying warm on the cheap this winter, check out these related pages and articles from OppLoans:

What are your furnace maintenance tips? We want to know! You can email us or you can find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Contributors

AHS_PMSFounding the home warranty industry back in 1971,  American Home Shield (@AHS_Warranty) is still today’s largest, most-chosen home warranty provider. Its goal, the same today as it was back then, is to make owning a home easier by helping consumers protect their budgets from large, unexpected repair costs. Today, AHS Home Warranty Plans cover many of a home’s most commonly broken down systems and appliances. They even created a nationwide network of qualified repair professionals ready to help whenever the need arises.