There are things you can do to avoid furnace breakdowns this winter. By avoiding some common mistakes, you won't be left in the cold by a furnace malfunction.
1. Crowding the Furnace
The main furnace unit is typically placed in a larger utility closet or in the basement of your home so that there is plenty of space around the unit. Don't use this space for storage, no matter how tempting that may be. The furnace needs room around it for air to circulate so that the furnace doesn't overheat. It's also more difficult to access the furnace for maintenance if it is buried under other items.
2. Closing Vents
Closing off the vents in rooms you aren't using doesn't necessarily lower your heating bills. Your furnace is sized to heat your entire home. When you shut off rooms completely, the furnace may struggle to maintain even heat in the house. You must also make sure that no vents are covered by furniture or other items, since this will also block heat flow and put stress on the furnace.
3. Skipping Routine Maintenance
There are some maintenance tasks you should do yourself, such as changing the furnace filter every one to two months, and others that you should have done professionally, such as the annual tune-up and inspection. During this annual visit, a furnace technician will check the furnace for any developing issues and repair them as needed. They will also thoroughly clean out the unit, including the blower and the fuel system, if applicable. Moving parts are lubricated and airflow problems are repaired, as well.
4. Overworking the System
An overworked furnace is more likely to suffer from a mechanical breakdown. A system can be overworked if there are air leaks in your home. Making sure windows and doors are kept closed and that they are properly sealed against drafts is necessary. Fireplace flues must also be closed when the fireplace isn't in use. A furnace can also be overworked if you frequently turn it way down and then crank it really high when you get cold. It is much better to maintain a fairly consistent temperature in your home.
5. Ignoring Minor Issues
Some issues may seem minor at first, such as a furnace that seems to cycle on and off a little more than usual or a slight whining sound when the fan first comes on. These minor annoyances can quickly become a huge repair issue if they are ignored. If you suspect a problem with your furnace, schedule a prompt service call for heating system repair.
Contact a heating system repair service if you need to have your furnace serviced.