Before you turn up the heat

A properly maintained furnace not only runs better, it’s safer.

Make annual furnace maintenance part of your regular routine. Maintenance improves your furnace performance and your comfort, and it’s important for your well-being too.

A professional furnace tune-up should include the following:
  • Check the system cycle to make sure it starts, operates, and shuts down properly
  • Check gas connections and gas pressure
  • Check vent system for blocks, leaks, or damage
  • Check air gills and louvers for blockage
  • Check burners for proper ignition and flame; clean if necessary
  • Check drain system for blocks or leaks
  • Check blower wheel and clean if necessary
  • Test voltage and current on the motor
  • Check wiring for damage
  • Check and replace filters (see do-it-yourself below)
Monitor carbon dioxide
A proper furnace inspection should include a carbon monoxide leak test. This odorless, colorless gas can cause serious injury or death. You also should install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home for constant monitoring.

Shut it down
If your furnace starts making new, unfamiliar sounds or emits an unusual odor, shut it down and call for an inspection. Keep an eye out for visible signs of malfunction, such as burns or rust. Unusual amounts of moisture on the insides of your windows also may indicate your furnace isn’t working.

Clean or change the air filters in your furnace or central air conditioner once a month. A dirty filter increases energy costs and can lead to equipment malfunction.