A new furnace is a big-ticket item for many homeowners. Like most large expenses, a furnace is a purchase you likely only want to make when it’s absolutely necessary. Fortunately, well-maintained gas furnaces typically last 15-20 years. But like many other things in life, the less TLC you give these systems, the shorter their lifespan becomes.
To get the most out of your gas furnace (and to save you the headache, hassle, and money of buying a replacement), it’s important to keep a regular maintenance schedule. Here are our top-five maintenance items to prolong the life of your gas furnace.
1. Check and replace the air filter
The filter in a gas furnace should be cleaned and replaced regularly to maintain optimal performance. The time between filter cleanings and replacements depends entirely on the frequency of use of your furnace and the thickness of the filter itself. Check the packaging of the filter to find the recommended replacement schedule, which is typically every 3-12 months. Not sure if your filter needs to be cleaned or replaced completely? If the filter is noticeably dirty with residue that prevents you from seeing the filter fibers, switch it out for a fresh one.
2. Clean the blower
While you’re checking on the filter, take the next step on our maintenance item checklist and clean the blower assembly. This can seem like a daunting task, but a simple damp cloth and patience is all you really need to properly clean the blower. When you remove the panels to access the blower assembly, be sure to take the time to clean the blower itself along with any pulleys or belts that have noticeable dirt or debris.
3. Grab the vacuum and clean the vents
All gas furnaces are equipped with a venting system. It is important to clean the vents regularly to prevent the buildup of debris and dust, as clogged vents can lead to health hazards. To clean the vents, remove the vent cover and use a large brush and/or vacuum cleaner to eliminate any buildup.
4. Clean the ducts
Heated air travels from the forced air gas furnace into a duct system. As such, any dirt or debris that sneaks through your furnace’s filter will make itself right at home in your home’s ductwork. Keep your vacuum handy and clean the ducts. In some instances, a regular vacuum cleaner or shop vac will work just fine to eliminate any debris. However, if it has been a while since your last duct cleaning, you’ll likely want to enlist a professional’s help!
5. Check the thermostat
Thermostat troubles happen even in the best-maintained gas furnace systems. While your gas furnace will likely last for 15-20 years, we have seen thermostats require replacement after closer to 10 years of use. If your home isn’t maintaining or reaching a comfortable temperature, check the wiring in your thermostat, remove any dust or debris from the thermostat, and replace it when the need arises.
If you depend on a gas furnace to heat your home and you haven’t checked these five items off your “honey-do” list lately, your furnace is likely in need of a little love.
Professional furnace maintenance
A final note: always exercise caution when working around an appliance that uses electricity and natural gas, as is in the case with a furnace.
If you feel more comfortable having an HVAC professional take care of these important maintenance tasks, call the team at DeZiel Heating & AC. We’ll make sure your gas furnace is ready for another long, cold Minnesota winter. Schedule an appointment today at (763) 684-3965.