Before hunkering down for the cold winter months, make sure your furnace is properly cleaned and inspected to avoid a fire or interruption in service.
Furnaces should be inspected by a licensed contractor annually and replaced when recommended.
Experts at This Old House recommend the following when doing your annual furnace cleaning:
- Switch off the electrical power and fuel supply before performing any maintenance
- Clean the combustion chamber. Soot tends to build up on the chamber walls and can cause corrosion. Remove any loose material with an industrial shop vacuum and inspect the chambers for corrosion before replacing the cover
- Inspect the exhaust flue. Check for holes, paying special attention to the areas where the pipe meets the furnace. Patch any holes with foil tape. Unfortunately, if your pipe has begun to corrode it should be replaced
- Check the oil filter and air filters and replace them when necessary
- Adjust the burner to maximize efficiency
Keep in mind, you should be routinely checking and cleaning your floor vents throughout the year. Regularly checking on the health of your heating system is key.
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