Furnace Maintenance Options for Homeowners in the Greater Indianapolis Area
Annual furnace maintenance is essential to the upkeep of gas furnaces, oil furnaces, and electric heating system equipment. Professional preventive maintenance tune up services paired with DIY furnace maintenance throughout the year ensures important components are in good condition and operate with proper function to keep the entire furnace running efficiently. With regular maintenance, you’ll benefit from improved indoor comfort, lower energy bills, better indoor air quality, fewer repairs, and longer service life from heating and cooling systems.
Whether you have a new furnace or an older HVAC unit, make annual servicing a priority with a professional furnace tune up before the winter season if possible. Williams Comfort Air performs furnace tune up services for all furnace brands and models, following a comprehensive furnace maintenance checklist to keep all components in proper condition with safe, efficient operation. A tune up includes routine servicing for specific parts as well as inspection and testing of others, which creates an opportunity to spot HVAC system flaws and repair them before they reduce efficiency and cause damage.
Williams Comfort Air offers maintenance plans to help our Indianapolis customers manage annual furnace maintenance needs as well as regular maintenance for air conditioning systems. We take care of all furnace maintenance needs ahead of heating season, so your furnace is ready to deliver efficient heating before cold weather rolls in. With membership, you also access great perks when you need other professional services for your system, including discounts on repairs and savings when you buy new air conditioner or furnace units as well as indoor air quality solutions to improve your home’s air.
Make Furnace Maintenance a Priority Each Year
To keep your furnace running efficiently and your energy bills low, the most beneficial thing you can do each year is schedule a professional furnace tune up. Inspecting and servicing your entire furnace based on a comprehensive furnace maintenance checklist ensures all key areas and components of the system receive preventative care and verification of efficient operation to keep the system in good condition over the winter season while enabling it to deliver the reliable heating your family needs.
What’s On the Furnace Maintenance Checklist?
A furnace tune up is a thorough service and Williams Comfort Air’s furnace maintenance checklist ensures each and every important component of the heating system is addressed by a professional. When your technician comes out to conduct a tune up, here are some of the tasks performed to improve the performance of your furnace.
- Inspect heat exchanger for damage, as a cracked heat exchanger could cause a carbon monoxide leak
- Test inducer electric motor to verify it expels combustion gases properly through the heat exchanger and exhaust flue
- Inspect furnace exhaust system for damaged, blocked, or corroded flues
- Add lubrication in the blower motor oil ports to lubricate bearings
- Tighten or replace a loose belt connecting the blower fan blades and fan motor
- Clean the blower motor and fan assembly
- Ensure the blower door closes securely
- Inspect electrical system components like the power switch, wiring, and circuit boards
- Tighten loose connections in the electrical power components
- Clean carbon soot from the chamber walls of the combustion chamber
- Clean flame sensor
- Test flame sensor operation
- Remove carbon soot from burners using a small wire brush to eliminate yellow flames
- Adjust air and gas flow so fuel mixes optimally in the combustion chamber
- Inspect natural gas supply or other fuel supply lines for damage
- Measure and adjust gas pressure as needed
- Remove old filter and install a clean air filter
- Remove old filter and install a new oil filter for an oil furnace
- Measure pressure and airflow in the duct system
- Measure temperature differentials
- Test thermostat operation
When and How Often to Schedule Professional Furnace Maintenance
Heating system manufacturers recommend regular furnace maintenance be performed by a licensed furnace technician once per year. It doesn’t matter if your home uses a natural gas furnace or one that runs using oil or electricity – you need one tune up per year. Same goes for air conditioning equipment, too.
A professional furnace tune up will be beneficial to your heating system any time it is performed, as the furnace maintenance checklist we follow is designed to improve the unit’s condition, prevent repair issues, and keep your furnace in service longer. While you can schedule regular furnace maintenance at any point throughout the year, the early fall is the best time to do so. If you’re a member of our maintenance plans, our team schedules your tune ups this time of year.
This allows a pro to complete furnace maintenance before the start of heating season, when it’s time to start up your furnace for the year. All system components will be in great shape, and your technician will have had the opportunity to inspect the furnace through and through. During the inspection portion of the tune up, it’s not uncommon for minor system flaws to be identified. Early discovery allows homeowners to make repairs before they grow into something more sinister, such as severe system damage or a furnace that won’t turn on when you go to fire it up on the first day temperatures drop because you really need heat.
DIY Furnace Maintenance Steps
A yearly professional furnace tune up is only one piece of the puzzle in terms of proper maintenance for your heating system. During the time between each annual furnace maintenance tune up, there are additional tasks that homeowners need to perform to keep a new furnace or existing heating unit in good shape and operating at its highest efficiency levels.
Skipping proper maintenance DIY steps could lead to performance issues with your furnace, diminished indoor air quality, or even damage to the system. Learn the tasks you need to take on to help your furnace heat your home with ease all winter long.
Change Air Filters
Furnace filters trap airborne pollutants before they are able to pass into the unit. While many homeowners believe the point of these air filters is to improve indoor air quality and provide cleaner air indoors, air filters are designed to prevent loose material like dust, dirt, pet dander, and more from entering the heating and air conditioning system equipment and settling inside it. Without an air filter, pollutant particles would settle on delicate components, causing damage or impacting their ability to operate correctly.
Furnace filters need to be changed periodically, and the replacement frequency varies depending on the filter’s efficiency, how often the heating unit is used, and characteristics of the household which contribute to indoor air pollution, such as indoor pets or smoking. Most homeowners find it necessary to change air filters more often during the hottest and coldest times of the year, when the furnace or air conditioner is running the longest, as air makes more passes through the system and air filter which creates more opportunities for the filter to trap particles and fill up faster.
When you buy new air filters, look for manufacturer instructions about how often the filter should be replaced and put filter changes on your calendar throughout the year. Even with this recommendation, we still advise our customers to check air filters on a monthly basis to see if replacement could be needed sooner than expected. Just remove the existing filter and see if its media surface is filled with particulate matter. If so, throw away the filter and install a new one – if not, simply reinsert it into the compartment.
Open All Vents
Shutting vents in certain areas of the home has long been mentioned as a way to conserve heat energy and save money. However, this is bad advice that absolutely should not be followed. It’s important that every return and supply vent, from floor registers to return air grilles in the ceiling or on the wall, be open and unobstructed. The home’s heating system is configured to heat all these areas, so closing a vent does nothing to tell the furnace to use less energy. Instead, closing vents could cause the furnace to overheat and worsen air leaks in ducts.
Periodically check vents throughout the house to ensure they are open and unblocked. If the vent covers have louvers that open and close, always set them open. If the louvers are stuck in a closed or somewhat closed position, remove floor registers for cleaning – if the louvers still don’t move properly, replace the vent cover. Rearrange furniture so that large items don’t block heat flowing out of vents, and relocate any carpets or other items sitting atop floor vents or blocking returns on a wall.
Carbon Monoxide Detector Maintenance
If you heat your home with a natural gas or oil furnace, you need to have carbon monoxide alarms installed in your home. Carbon monoxide is naturally produced when fuel combustion is incomplete. It has no odor or color so the only way humans can know of its presence is through the use of special detection units.
In a well-maintained furnace, combustion gases including carbon monoxide are sealed in the heat exchanger and don’t mix with the home’s air supply. A cracked heat exchanger could cause exposure as the heat supply moved into the house by the blower can carry this gas inside, too.
Each month, test every carbon monoxide detector in the home. Hold the TEST button until it goes off – if it fails to sound the alarm, replace the unit. Batteries should be changed every six months, even if the existing ones still have a charge just to make sure the unit has power whenever needed. Replace the entire carbon monoxide detector every five to seven years.
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