Servicing Your Furnace To Avoid Winter Breakdowns

With fuel prices going up every day, it is important that you keep your furnace running as efficient as possible. A furnace that is not properly serviced will run poorly or could fail altogether. The cold months when you need the heat is not the time for a furnace problem. Plan ahead and have your furnace serviced before you actually need it to avoid problems this winter.

Changing the Air Filters

A furnace that can not properly pull in fresh, clean air will not run efficiently. The furnace needs air to properly burn the fuel and heat the water or air that is used to heat the house or building. Most furnaces have replaceable paper filters that can be thrown away and replaced with new ones in a matter of seconds. If you are not sure what filter you need, take the old one to the hardware store or home improvement store for help identifying the proper replacement.

Have The Burner Cleaned

Fall is the perfect time of year to have the burner cleaned in your furnace. An HVAC technician will come in and disassemble the burner and combustion chamber area of the furnace then clean all the parts that need cleaning and reassemble it. This is a good time to check for damage to any parts of the system or replace any components that need it as well. Schedule the maintenance early to be sure to get it down before the weather turns cold and you need the heat on.

Changing the Fuel Filter

On heating systems that burn number 2 fuel oil, the fuel filter at the tank should be checked and replaced before the cool season starts. Some tanks use a paper filter that can be discarded and a new one installed, others use a filter that needs to be removed from the system and cleaned then reinstalled. Because it involves turning off the fuel flow and opens the system up, this is best left to a technician that can do the job quickly and ensure the air is out of the system when the job has been completed.

Fill the Fuel Tank

Filling the oil or fuel tank before the weather gets too cold is a good way to keep water or other contaminants from getting into the tank. It is also a good time to fill the tank because the price is typically a little lower. Water or other contaminants that get into the tank can clog the fuel filter or worse, make its way through to the burner and clog the fuel nozzle in the combustion chamber. A fuel tank means there is no room for water in the tank. You will use the fuel anyway so the cost is not really an additional cost and could be a benefit.