Furnace Cleaning Tips for the Winter
With winter coming on, keeping your furnace and heating system clean is very important. It makes the system more efficient, meaning you get heat faster and with less energy use, but the biggest benefit is that consistent cleaning reduces the odds of a breakdown. It keeps your system running when you need it. Parts of Texas have already seen snow this year. A heater failure at the wrong time could put you in a dangerous position that may lead to secondary issues, such as burst pipes if the water freezes. That’s not a risk you want to take. It’s not a risk you can afford.
So, what should you do? Here are a few important cleaning tips you can use to reduce the chances of a breakdown:
- Change the air filter once a month. Do not put it off. Do not wait for the furnace to overheat and shut down. In the worst cases, a dirty filter puts so much extra stress on the blower motor that you can burn out the motor and the furnace won’t work at all. The best defense against these issues is to create a set schedule for filter replacements and stick to it.
- If you have a pilot light, keep an eye on the color. It should have a bluish tint, not orange.
- Keep all airflow registers open. Clean them out if they’re in the floor and they tend to gather dust. Never cover them with furniture or anything else.
- Clean out the heat vents, as well. Depending on the age of the house, they could be in the floor, the walls or even the ceiling. They all need cleaning at times, though the ones in the floor need it the most often.
- Do not store anything near your furnace and keep the area tidy. Ths helps keep the unit clean and safe.
- Consider cleaning the various sensors, such as the flame sensor. It can get carbon buildup over time that makes it impossible for it to sense a working flame, and the unit will then shut itself off as a safety measure. You may want to have a professional do this cleaning if you are not experienced with it yourself. Additionally, these sensors sometimes need to be replaced to get them to work properly again.
Neglect is one of the biggest issues with heating systems and furnaces. People simply do not think about them until they break down. By focusing on them in advance, you can often extend the life of the unit and get more efficient functionality with fewer unexpected breakdowns.
Signs of a Problem
You also want to keep an eye out for minor issues that may mean a breakdown is coming. Some signs to look for may include:
- The furnace runs for far too long, indicating that it is not working efficiently
- The furnace occasionally fails to fire or shuts itself off, meaning there may be a problem with the flame sensor, the pressure sensor or something else of this nature
- The furnace turns off before the temperature in the house reaches the intended target
- The blower motor ramps up its power and seems too loud
- The airflow from the vents does not seem very powerful or cannot be felt at all
- There are big differences between temperatures at different levels in the house
- You hear unexplained vibrations or rattling sounds from the furnace when it is running
- The pilot light, if you have one, is flickering instead of burning steadily
- The red indicator LED light, if you have a newer furnace, is flashing a set sequence; furnaces have built-in error codes and the flashing light tells you what is not working properly
- The furnace starts to sound different, perhaps making a low rumble
- The furnace is running and the blower works, but the air you feel coming out of the vents is cold
- Your heating bills start to rise dramatically and you do not know why
If you see any of these issues, it could mean your furnace is getting closer to a breakdown. Not all of these issues can be corrected with cleaning, but many can, and knowing what to watch out for gives you a chance to act as soon as something goes wrong.
Professional Assistance When You Need It Most
Breakdowns happen. If your heating system goes out in the middle of the winter, it can be catastrophic. Make sure you know whom to call. You can always reach us at Cold Factor by dialing 214-717-8802. We are experienced and professional, and we have fast response times. We’re a second-generation, family-owned company, and we stand behind our good name. We can work with all major brands and models. Call us for fast service you can trust.