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Why you should have a furnace tune up

Posted on: October 19, 2011

Though we’ve had a really nice warm spell the past couple days, it’s a sad fact that Old Man Winter is right around the corner. That’s not all bad though – there’s not much better than coming from the cold into a warm house (especially if you also have a whole house humidifier!). This is, of course, only true if your furnace is working as well as it should be!

This year, before you turn on your heating system, call James A. Wheat & Sons! Having your furnace inspected early (mid-October – early November) will help you restore its efficiency to the original levels, and will help point out any potential problems with the furnace, such as cracked heating elements or faulty blower motors, before they break down completely and cause you to lose your heating!

In addition to restoring your heating system’s efficiency and preventing it from breaking down, having a furnace tune up before the winter hits will make your furnace much safer to run. It’s a fact that more deadly fires and carbon monoxide leaks occur during the winter, and almost all of these are caused by poorly maintained heating systems.

  • During a typical furnace tune up, a James A. Wheat & Sons technician will:
  • Test your home for carbon monoxide
  • Inspect your chimney and flue for hazardous debris
  • Clean or replace air filters
  • Check the operation of your thermostat and safety controls
  • Check the pilot light safety system
  • Clean your furnace motor and fan
  • Check the blower motor and fan operation
  • Check the condition, tension and alignment of fan belt, adjusting as necessary
  • Clean the burners and heating elements
  • Check the gas piping to furnace

Basic Furnace Maintenance 101

You only need to have one furnace tune up per year. But there are a number of things you should do on your own that will help keep your furnace in good shape. If you want to keep your furnace finely tuned, make sure you:

Test your carbon monoxide detector– simply running your furnace carries the inherent risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you have a carbon monoxide detector, hit the test button to make sure it works. Replace the battery before you test it, just in case. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, go get one! Carbon monoxide detectors are extremely important tools for keeping your family safe, and are especially useful during the winter when your furnace runs constantly.

Make sure nothing is blocking airflow to your furnace–keep things like clothes, furniture and lint away from your furnace return vents. Blocking air vents can reduce airflow in your home by as much as 30% or more, reducing your home’s energy efficiency and making it much less comfortable overall.

Change your filters regularly – this one is extremely important! Clogged filters can significantly restrict airflow to your furnace and seriously hurt its performance. Disposable air filters are pretty cheap, so stock up before you turn your furnace on and change them once a month.

If you want to make sure your furnace stays in tip top shape all winter long, call James A. Wheat & Sons today! Our Gaithersburg furnace tune up experts can provide furnace inspection and furnace tune ups to keep you safe and comfortable until warmer temperatures return again.