Tips for keeping your furnace in top shape

Autumn is a time to prepare for winter and one item of maintenance that should be on every home owner’s to-do list is to have the furnace checked by a professional. The furnace produces heat by a process of combustion, which releases exhaust gases including carbon monoxide. A poorly maintained furnace can be unsafe but also uses more fuel than necessary. For this reason, your furnace should undergo an annual checkup and tuning to ensure it’s working at peak efficiency.

There are some things that a homeowner can do between maintenance appointments to ensure long life and reliable operation. Replacing the air filter is very easy and can save up to 5% of fuel costs annually for a cost of less than $5. Homeowners can remove the furnace access panel, following all the steps in the owner’s manual, to inspect the interior and vacuum any dust or debris that may have accumulated. The fan belt connects the fan motor to the fan and should be inspected for frayed edges, tension, and glazing that is caused by slippage. The fan motor may have exterior oil bearing caps that can be removed so the motor bearings can be lubricated. Always check the owner’s manual to avoid improper procedures. Your technician from Nagra Bros. Plumbing will take care of these items for you at every service appointment.

Predictive maintenance is also part of the service that Nagra Bros. provides with every service call. Your technician is specially trained to find and correct minor problems inexpensively before they lead to more expensive repairs. Being proactive in furnace maintenance also means that it will run efficiently all winter without a problem. Regular maintenance and tuning is necessary to keep your furnace running at its designed efficiency rate and will prolong the life of the equipment. Annual maintenance is also a good opportunity to calibrate the thermostat cycling time, which in part runs the fan until the plenum is room temperature, thereby extracting all the heat from the heat exchanger.

Is it time to replace the old furnace?

Your technician may recommend repairs or updates that make a new furnace worth considering. Older furnaces have efficiency rates of 50% or less while newer models can be rated to 95% efficiency, which saves money and helps the environment. The time to ask your technician about a replacement schedule is before it needs to be done and not during the heating season. He will be happy to explain the newer technologies and make a recommendation on your home heating needs.