Every year, when the first cold front hits, several homeowners prefer to turn on their gas furnace, only to realize that it’s not working properly.
Then, it is a scramble to find a professional HVAC (the heating, ventilation, air conditioning) technician who can fix their furnace before cold season starts, since several other people have discovered their gas furnaces are not working appropriately, too.
However, heating systems are often trouble-free and easy to maintain. But the efficient operation is a function of good routine maintenance. Regardless of what kind of gas furnace you own, there are many ways you can avoid, or at least reduce, problems, through appropriate furnace maintenance.
Though some aspects of the furnace upkeep can be complex and are often left to the experts, there’s a surprising amount of repairs you can do yourself.
Keeping your furnace running appropriately can save you a lot of cash on heating costs and assists avoid costly repairs in the future. Without further ado, let’s look at some tips for maintaining your gas furnace:
1. Replace or clean the furnace filter
Essentially, dirt is the greatest enemy of your gas furnace says this hvac repair Chicago services as it can drastically lower efficiency and waste fuel. In some situations, it may even make your furnace to overheat.
Dirt affects all 3 primary components of the furnace. Therefore cleaning is the most essential part of routine maintenance. The 3 parts of the furnace which should be cleaned: the filter system, the motor, and the blower.
The furnace filter needs to be cleaned or replaced at the start of the heating season and about once in a month during the periods of continuous use.
To check the furnace filter, take it out and then hold it up to the light. If it appears clogged, clean or replace it with a new filter of the same kind and size no matter the length of time it’s been used.
2. Check the Flue Pipe for Leaks
Always check the flue pipe that comes out of the top of your furnace to make sure it’s venting appropriately. Holes in flue pipe leak foul combustion byproducts, including carbon monoxide. If this is the case, you cannot run your furnace without exposing yourself to a severe health risk.
Check close to where the pipe meets your furnace. Patch tiny holes with the foil tape. Corroded flues should be replaced. At times, a faulty installation will cause a structural leak that requires a full re-installation. If this is a case, seek the assistance of the service professionals.
3. Fan inspection
To avoid experiencing any problems with your gas furnace, a thorough inspection will be very important. Inspection done by the professionals will save you all the expenses to spend on repairing parts of your gas furnace.
Besides an overall inspection, its fan components need to be also checked. An inspection will show whether there are dust and any other components on it. Make it a routine task to take your gas furnace for a thorough inspection annually.
4. Clean the vents
Gas furnaces are often hooked with a venting system. This ventilation at times can block because of huge amounts of debris and dust. Blocked ventilation is risky and can cause several hazards to the users.
Using a huge brush, clean all the vents. Start by taking out the vent cover and clean the inside with a vacuum cleaner.
5. Ensure you’re working under safe conditions
Gas appliances may strike anytime, make sure you exercise safety measures. Before you start checking and cleaning your gas furnace, turn it off first.
Ensure that the power system and any other circuits connecting to your furnace are off. Check for any gas leaks before you start cleaning.
Gas leaks can be so dangerous and can lead to fatal accidents. If there are any leaks, request an expert to fix the problem. Stay far away from the gas till it’s fixed. Once everything is fixed, proceed with your cleaning.
Troubleshooting Tips For A Gas Furnace
There are several potential reasons that a furnace might not be working, but luckily, most of the solutions are as easy as just pressing a button.
Propane and natural gas burn cleaner than the fuel oil, and many gas furnaces present less operational difficulties than the oil burners do. Actually, the problems which affect gas furnaces usually involve the furnace’s pilot light, thermocouple, or some component of an electrical system.
Heaters and Gas Furnaces have control shutoffs to avoid gas leaks, but they’re not fail-safe. If you smell a strange gas in your house, don’t turn any lights on or off and don’t try to turn off the gas leading to your furnace.
Walk out of your house, leaving the door open and call the gas company or the fire department to report a leak immediately. Don’t re-enter your house.
The Pilot Light
The pilot light on your gas furnace can go out due to drafts. To relight the pilot, simply follow the instructions of your manufacturer carefully; they are often fastened to the furnace.
If instructions for relighting the pilot aren’t provided, first, find the pilot light assembly. It often has a gas valve with the ON, OFF, and the PILOT settings.
The thermocouple is one component of a gas furnace situated near the pilot light burner. It’s a safety device which turns off the gas if the pilot light goes out or an electric igniter fails.
If the pilot light will not stay lit, the thermocouple may be faulty and need to be adjusted or replaced. To adjust the thermocouple, you should tighten it nut using a wrench. You should take care not to apply excessive pressure to the nut -just tighten it slightly.
Finally, try lighting the pilot. In case the pilot will not stay lit, replace the thermocouple with the new one of the same kind.
Burner Adjustments & Gas Leaks
The flames on a gas burner should be steady and full, without sputtering and no trace of yellow. In order to adjust a height of the flame on the major burners, call a specialist service person.
To regulate the height of pilot flame, turn the flame adjustment screw till the flame is from 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5.1 cm) high. The adjustment screw is situated near a gas valve on the pilot assembly if the control features this adjustment feature.
If you suspect any gas leaks around your furnace unit, stir up the mixture of liquid detergent and water. Paint this mixture on a gas supply line along its valves and connections; the soapy water will bubble at each point where there is a leak.
If you find any leak, try tightening the leaking connection using a pipe wrench, but be cautious not to over tighten it. If the pipe valves or connections still leak, call a specialist.
For whatever reason, the blower panel of your furnace may not have been closed all the way. Check to your furnace and ensure your blower panel/door is shut fully. Some models feature a safety mechanism which prevents it from running if the blower panel hasn’t been closed.
Cleaning and maintaining your gas furnace isn’t much of a challenge or task. It’s also cheap to maintain a gas furnace. You’ll encounter fewer costs and possibly never have to purchase another gas furnace. Don’t let debris and dirt prevent you from cleaning your gas furnace.
If you’re having problems like these, you can let professionals take care of it when you have a propane delivery. Let the expert check your gas furnace upon installation. Make sure you play it safe. Take good care of your gas furnace by following the above maintenance tips.