Gas Furnace Maintenance

Yes, You're Doing it All Wrong: Guide to Gas Furnace Maintenance

It is of utmost importance to maintain a gas furnace for it to work properly. Here are some tips on how to do so.
HomeQuicks Staff
Last Updated: Feb 8, 2018
Maintaining a gas furnace is a very crucial job, which must be done from time to time. It must be cleaned every year. Along with the cleaning, you have to check the furnace, whether it is working properly or not. If it is not, then carbon monoxide is produced. This is a highly poisonous gas and can cause flu like symptoms, confusion, dizziness, and many other health hazards. It is a by-product of the incomplete combustion of natural gas. It is odorless and colorless. Older furnaces emit more carbon monoxide due to the decreased efficiency of the combustion. Also, they develop cracks and these cracks serve as an outlet for the leakage of carbon monoxide. These cracks in the furnace are not even visible to the naked eye. Therefore, it is important to undertake a gas furnace maintenance program every year.

Guidelines for Maintenance

Filters
Air filters are an important part of the gas furnace and cleaning and maintaining them is important. There are three types of air filters viz., cardboard, fiberglass, and plastic filters. If your air filter is cardboard or fiberglass, replace them with new ones when they become dirty. In case of plastic filters, wash them with detergent and dry them thoroughly. Once cleaned, put them in their original place. Besides, nowadays there are electronic air filters also. There are instructions on how to clean them that comes along with the product manual and maintenance guide. It is important to note that you should not turn on the furnace without installing the filter.

Lubricating the Motor Annually
After the cleaning session is over, you should turn to the lubrication section of the gas furnace. This is another crucial step in its maintenance. There are two types of motors viz., motor with oiling ports and without oiling ports. The one without oiling ports is lubricated at the time of manufacture and requires no lubrication. However, when you call a service technician, he is supposed to replace it.

On the other hand, a motor with oiling ports requires oiling once in a year or two. This oiling depends upon the usage of the gas furnace. Remember, do not add excess oil to the motor bearings. If you add excessive oil to the bearing, there are chances of the motor getting damaged.

Regular Cleanup of Motor
When you call the service technician, he must clean the motor periodically. Dust and dirt accumulated on it can cause it to overheat and damage the windings. Along with the motor, the blower wheel must also be cleaned. Dust and dirt can obstruct the air flow in the furnace and can even damage it.

Pilot Light Check up
The pilot light needs to be lit and function properly. If this is not the case, then the furnace won't work. To check for its proper functioning, check its color. It has to be deep blue. If its yellow, it indicates that there is dirt accumulated on it. The flame sensor will show that the pilot isn't lit if it's dirty. So, it is important to regularly clean it.

Other Things to be Inspected by the Service Technician
There are many other things that need a check. The list of these things is as follows:
  • Venting system
  • Heat exchanger passages
  • Corrosion
  • Burners
  • Leaks in the gas pipe
  • Cracks in the furnace
  • Cleanup of the pilot and the pilot assembly
  • Cleaning the burners
Any malfunction in the gas furnace must be detected at the time of maintenance.

These are the things to be checked in a gas furnace. Some of these are such that they must be checked from time to time, like leakage or corrosion. Checking these things in advance can save you from disasters, accidents, and costly repairs. Lastly, call up the service technician before the winter begins and enjoy the warmth hassle free.