Maintaining your furnace is key to the longevity of your furnace. There are many different kinds of furnaces out there, but each one has its own maintenance needs. Gas furnaces, in particular, have some unique needs that other furnaces do not. They also have some maintenance needs that are not unlike other furnaces, as you shall see in this article.
Change Your Filters
Regardless of the type of furnace you have, changing the filter is very important. The furnace filter removes a lot of dust and dirt from the air as it returns to the furnace via the cold air return ducts and is heated and sent back upward as warm air. The heated air still has particulates in it from when it was cold air a few seconds before, and by going through the filter, the hot air has the particulates removed. You need to change your furnace filter once a month. The exception to this maintenance rule is replacing it once every other month, or once every three months, when you replace the filter with specialty filters that are designed to last longer and filter out more allergens.
Maintain the Pilot Light
A pilot light is the place where the gas in your furnace is ignited. It remains lit, exhibiting a blue flame the whole time. When the furnace kicks on to heat cold air, the gas that feeds into the furnace exits through this pilot light and continues to burn and blow into the space where the cold air comes back from upstairs. You need to check the pilot light often to make sure that it is lit and that it is firing correctly. If it is not firing correctly, you need to call an HVAC technician to come find out why. Additionally, if the light goes out, you will need to turn off the gas line and open windows to ventilate the space to avoid an explosion of the gas that has accumulated indoors with no way to escape.
Maintaining the Electrical Connections
Your gas furnace does operate on electricity. The gas is just burning to create hot air, but the electricity helps the furnace do its job. There are electrical connections between the furnace and the switch box and between the furnace and your thermostat. You personally cannot perform maintenance on these electrical components, but you can ask an HVAC technician to check things out for you.
Contact a local HVAC company for more furnace maintenance tips.