The upcoming winter months aren't going to be comfortable. Depending on your local climate, the winter season may even turn your home into an ice box. To prevent this, your gas furnace must be able to produce as much heat as possible. However, if your furnace hasn't been maintained, then it likely won't be able to output enough heat to keep your home warm. Perform these maintenance tasks to ensure your furnace keeps your home warm throughout the winter:
Burner Tube Cleaning
Your furnace produces soot anytime gas is ignited in your burner assembly. Over time, soot deposits will form on your burner tubes. When enough soot collects on your burner tubes, your furnace won't be able to receive enough airflow to efficiently ignite the gas that's delivered to your burner assembly. As a result, its heat production will be reduced. Additionally, the reduced airflow to your burner assembly will cause even more soot production.
Luckily, it's possible for your to clean your burner tubes with some basic home tools. However, you'll need to understand the basic design for your furnace and make sure to wear protective gear — a respirator, insulated gloves, and a pair of safety goggles are all needed for this task.
Shut off the power and gas supply to your furnace and let it cool. Once your furnace is cool, open your access panel and locate your burner tubes. Depending on the specific make and model of your furnace, you'll either need to remove the entire burner tube assembly at once or remove each tube individually.
Once your burners are removed from your furnace, use a wire brush to clean soot from the exterior and interior of each tube. By removing the soot deposits on your tubes, you'll create more room for air to flow into your burner assembly. Reinstall your burners in their original position to finish the job. If you reinstall your burners incorrectly, one or more of your burners may not light.
Clogged Filter Replacement
All forced-air furnaces require a significant amount of airflow to operate efficiently—hence their name. Several components, such as your air filter, squirrel cage, and blower motor can affect the volume of air that can flow through your furnace. However, poor airflow is typically caused by a clogged filter.
Your air filter is the first component that air passes through when it's pulled into your furnace. Your filter (either a conventional paper filter or an electrostatic filter) will clean dirt, pet fur, dust, and other debris from the air. After enough use, your filter will become clogged with these types of debris.
If you have a conventional air filter, then it's located inside your blower compartment. To replace it, open your blower compartment and pull out your filter from the side of the compartment that's connected to your return duct. Clean away debris from around the filter area with a damp rag and install a compatible replacement filter.
As a rule of thumb, conventional filters typically need to be replaced every three months, but pay attention to the interval at which your filter manufacturer says to replace your filter — some filters can only last as little as one month.
If you have an electrostatic filter system, then your filter is located in a separate housing from your blower motor. Shut off your filter system and open the housing door. Remove the large cell (there may be more than one depending on your system) and pull out your pre-filters (the thick metal screens). If present, remove your black charcoal filters as well.
Wash your pre-filters and cells with your garden hose, or soak them in a mild mixture of warm water and mild dish soap. Let them dry before reinstalling them into your system. If your system has charcoal filters, then replace them—if you wash them, they'll lose their ability to remove odors from your indoor air.
If you have trouble performing either of these cleaning tasks, then stop and hire your professional HVAC technician to finish the jobs for you. By doing so, you can make sure that these tasks are completed without any accidental damage to your furnace.
Check out sites like http://www.capefearair.com for more information.