It never fails…It’s the coldest day of the year and your furnace starts acting up, leaving you scrambling for HVAC repairs while your family huddles under blankets on the couch.

As one of the most important appliances in your home, routine furnace maintenance is the best way to avoid ill-timed breakdowns. Follow these steps to stay warm and cozy in the winter months ahead.

Ring in the new year

Furnace maintenance should be completed at least once a year, ideally before the temperatures start to fall. In most cases, furnace maintenance can be performed in a single, brief on-site visit. In other cases, replacement parts may need to be ordered, resulting in additional visits.

With all HVAC maintenance, repairs and installations, be sure that you are hiring a licensed, NATE-certified technician. North American Technician Excellence (NATE) is the nation’s largest nonprofit certification for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR), and NATE-certified technicians have demonstrated their knowledge of today’s increasingly sophisticated heating and cooling systems by passing a nationally recognized test. Read more about third-party validations here.

Checkup Checklist

One of the easiest maintenance tips that you can do yourself is changing the filter. In addition to improving the performance and extending the life of our furnace, filters improve indoor air quality – an especially important factor during the upcoming cold and flu season. Read this blog post for everything you need to know about what filtration equipment to maintain, how often, and why.

  • In addition to filter maintenance, a certified technician should complete the following at your annual furnace checkup:
  • Inspect safety switches, gas line, controls. Malfunctioning safety controls can cause dangerous problems.  Front Range HVAC inspectors ensure that there are no leaks or corrosion, and that all safety switches and controls are operating correctly.
  • Inspect and clean heat exchanger. A complete combustion analysis ensures that the heat exchanger in your furnace is working properly. If cracks exist, toxic fumes can escape, causing illness.
  • Remove and clean burners if necessary. Dirty burners can cause poor combustion and will shorten the life of the furnace.
  • Flame rollout inspection. Under certain conditions, inflammable combustion gases can build up inside your furnace. Front Range HVAC inspects for signs of flame rollout and ensures that your flame rollout switch is working properly.
  • Clean blower wheel. A blower wheel pushes the air around your home, creating a consistent temperature throughout. A clean blower wheel improves efficiency, minimizes corrosion, reduces noise, minimizes cold spots, and can even decrease monthly fuel bills.
  • Lubricate motors & bearings and inspect belts & pulleys. This ensures that your furnace parts moving as they should, and that they are not cracked or otherwise poorly aged.
  • Check and calibrate thermostat. If your thermostat is not calibrated, your furnace can run longer than necessary, increasing costs and adding unnecessary wear and tear on your furnace.

Other signs of failure

If you are not due for your annual checkup but your furnace is showing signs of malfunctioning, it’s best to contact Front Range HVAC as soon as possible. Key symptoms include:

  • Grinding, squealing or thumping sounds coming from the furnace area
  • Foul smell or odor once furnace is turned on or activated
  • Lack of response from thermostat controls
  • Visible indications of corrosion, degradation, or damage
  • Inefficient heating in certain areas of the home or business

Contact Front Range HVAC to schedule your furnace maintenance today.