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Furnace Maintenance

It is that time of year again!! It’s time to get maintenance performed on your furnace, before the cold weather is here. I thought that I would take some time to address some of the questions I get every year regarding cleaning and maintenance of gas furnaces and heat pumps.

Why do I need it?

  • According to, you should maintain your equipment to prevent future problems and unwanted costs. Keep your cooling and heating system at peak performance by having a contractor do annual pre-season check-ups. Contractors get busy once summer and winter come, so it’s best to check the cooling system in the spring and the heating system in the fall.

Can I just clean my furnace myself?

  • We are living in the age of technology and DIY is something many people, including myself at times, to save time & money. Even though you can find DIY furnace cleaning on YouTube, the answer to this question is still YES & NO!
    • Yes, there are some things you can do to help maintain your furnace
      • You can change your air filter regularly
      • If your thermostat takes batteries you can change those
      • If you have a humidifier you can change the water panel/pad
    • No, you should leave the rest to a professional technician. Here is why.
      • Gaslines are dangerous
      • Risk of electrical hazards – loose wires or nicked wires cause shock or furnace failures
      • Carbon monoxide poisoning – carbon monoxide is present in every gas fueled furnace
      • Fire hazards – many flammable items are in your furnace. A small mistake could be costly
      • Your furnace is complex – Even though you are a mechanical personprofessional technicians are continually trained on older equipment as well as the technological advances in new furnaces.

How often should a furnace be cleaned?

  • Manufacturers, EnergyStar, and utility companies recommend having maintenance done on your furnace and air conditioning system annually.

What is done on a furnace cleaning?

  • Check thermostat settings to ensure the cooling and heating system keeps you comfortable when you are home and saves energy while you are away.
  • Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.
  • Lubricate all moving parts. Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increases the amount of electricity you use.
  • Check and inspect the condensate drain in your central air conditioner, furnace and/or heat pump (when in cooling mode). A plugged drain can cause water damage in the house and affect indoor humidity levels.
  • Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates, and shuts off properly.
  • Check/Clean all gas (or oil) connections, gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger. Improperly operating gas (or oil) connections are a fire hazard and can contribute to health problems. A dirty burner or cracked heat exchanger causes improper burner operation. Either can cause the equipment to operate less safely and efficiently.

What are the benefits of furnace cleaning?

  • Energy savings
  • Extended life of the furnace
  • Fewer breakdowns
  • Increased comfort
  • Peace of mind

I am hoping this answers some questions that many of you may have had as well. It is important that you get your maintenance done on your furnace before winter comes. Be sure to have a trained technician perform the maintenance.

Stay Comfortable!



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