When the winter arrives in the Anoka, MN area, the weather tends to be harsh and features temperatures regularly dropping into the single digits. Maintaining a healthy, efficient heating system is essential for the comfort of you and everyone else in your home. Unfortunately, furnace problems can often appear seemingly out of nowhere, and they certainly don’t wait until the timing is most convenient for you.
If your heater has mechanical problems, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact local HVAC professionals, like our technicians at Liberty Comfort Systems. However, before those issues occur, there are steps you can take yourself to help prevent furnace problems and keep your heating system running as smoothly as possible.
1. Schedule Professional Maintenance Regularly
While there are many maintenance tasks that you can complete yourself, qualified HVAC professionals also play a role in keeping your furnace healthy. At Liberty Comfort Systems, our skilled technicians have the training, experience, and equipment to perform comprehensive furnace tune-ups. Ideally, you should schedule professional furnace maintenance once per year. During this appointment, your hired technicians will thoroughly inspect your household heating system, check for any components that might need to be repaired or replaced, and make any necessary tweaks to the appliance.
As long as you make a point to schedule a professional furnace tune-up each year, your DIY maintenance tasks should be enough to keep your heater running at peak performance and efficiency. Professional heating maintenance can offer all of the following advantages:
- Improved household comfort
- Reduced monthly heating costs
- Better indoor air quality
- Reduced likelihood of equipment problems
- Longer furnace life expectancy
2. Replace the Air Filter Regularly
The air filter is an essential part of your household furnace. When the heating unit is cycling, it pulls air through the filter. The air is then heated and redistributed throughout the living space. The filter traps airborne contaminants as air passes through it, which helps keep your area cleaner and healthier. It also keeps the furnace running smoothly and efficiently.
Your furnace air filter needs to be replaced periodically to maximize efficiency and performance. Otherwise, the filter will eventually become packed with contaminant particles obstructing the furnace’s airflow. This can have several negative consequences for your household, including poor air quality, worsened furnace efficiency, and reduced day-to-day comfort. Depending on the type of air filter you use, the size of your home, and other variables, you should typically switch your furnace filter out every one to three months. This will go a long way toward keeping your home comfortable and energy-efficient.
3. Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned Periodically
Although you might not think about your home’s air ducts often, they play a major role in the performance of your furnace. When your heater is turned on, warm air is circulated through your ductwork and into the different areas of your dwelling. Over time, though, various contaminants build up inside those air ducts, including dust, dirt, mold, and random debris. A little bit of air duct contamination is no big deal, but if you go multiple years without having the ductwork cleaned, those contaminants can start to create major obstructions for the airflow of your furnace. For one, this will make it harder for the heating unit to push air through the ducts, which can lead to worsened energy efficiency and inconsistent household temperatures. Dirty air ducts can also lead to worsened indoor air quality and an increased risk of furnace problems.
At Liberty Comfort Systems, our team offers reliable air duct cleaning for residents of the greater Anoka area. Ideally, you should have your household ductwork professionally cleaned every two or three years to ensure that your furnace can do its job efficiently.
4. Check the Pilot Light Often
One of the simplest things you can do to keep your furnace running smoothly is periodically check the pilot light. If your home uses a gas-powered furnace, then it will always have a small pilot light burning while it’s running. When your heating system’s combustion system is working properly, this pilot light will always be a solid blue flame. If this is the case, you have nothing to worry about. However, if the pilot light is flickering or any other color, that’s a red flag that should never be ignored. Shut off your furnace right away, and schedule a professional inspection. Different colors can indicate different problems, so our experienced technicians will need to check out your furnace to attain an accurate diagnosis and determine the necessary repairs.
5. Clean Your Household Air Vents
After the heat from your furnace has passed through the air ducts in your home, it will then travel through vents and into your living space. However, much like the ducts, the air vents around your household can accumulate dirt, dust, and other contaminants, which can disrupt the airflow of your furnace. Clogged air vents can lead to more expensive heating bills, worsened indoor air quality, and increased risk of a furnace malfunction.
One simple furnace maintenance tip is to regularly clean out the vents around your home. You can do this by simply removing the protective cover with a screwdriver and vacuuming out the inside of the vent. If possible, try to do this every couple of months.
6. Test Your Furnace Regularly
During the Anoka summer, you probably won’t need to run your furnace very often to keep your home comfortable. In many households, this can lead to heating units remaining entirely dormant for several months at a time. When the cold weather arrives later in the year, homeowners will often discover that their furnace isn’t running properly. They could be without heat for days or weeks until they can get their systems repaired.
Fortunately, this is an easy problem to avoid; all you need to do is occasionally give your furnace a test run during the warmer months. Simply turn on the heat and let your furnace cycle for at least 10 or 15 minutes. This way, you can check to see if the appliance is making any strange noises or struggling to circulate warm air throughout the house.
Scheduling annual maintenance can also help you catch potential issues before they cause problems. You’ll be able to address minor flaws and age-related wear and avoid breakdowns.
Trust Your Local Anoka Heating Professionals
At Liberty Comfort Systems, we’re a family-owned and operated business, and we’re proud to be a part of the Anoka community. We specialize in heating, cooling, and air quality systems, but we also offer a variety of other expert services, including plumbing, electrical, duct cleaning, and basement finishing. Our NATE-certified technicians are highly trained, experienced, and dedicated to providing superior customer service. They’re available 24/7 to handle all of your urgent home comfort needs. If you’d like to learn more or schedule an appointment, simply contact Liberty Comfort Systems today.