Furnace Owning a home comes with a great deal of maintenance. During the cold part of the year, many home owners forget to service their furnace. No matter what type of furnace you have, there are several things you can do to keep your heating system in top condition. Heating systems are usually trouble-free and easy to maintain. Good regular maintenance will help with the efficiency of your furnace.

Whatever the problem, start with the simplest procedures. In most cases, all it takes is patience. What could be the problem? The furnace or air conditioner may have lost power. Fuel may not be reaching the unit. If the fuel is gas, it may not be igniting. If the furnace or air conditioner turns on but the warm or cool air isn't reaching the rooms of your home, the problem is likely to be the blower or distribution system. And a faulty control, or thermostat, could keep the system from turning on or could cause it to turn on and off repeatedly.

To keep your system working properly, there are some simple general procedures you can follow:

  • Make sure the unit is receiving power. Look for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers at the main panel. Some furnaces have a separate power entrance, usually located at a different panel near the main panel. Some furnaces have fuses mounted in or on the unit.
  • If the unit has a reset button, marked RESET and near the motor housing, wait 30 minutes to let the motor cool, then press the button. If the unit still doesn't start, wait 30 minutes and press the reset button again. Repeat at least once more.
  • If the unit has a separate power switch, make sure the switch is turned on.
  • Check to make sure the thermostat is properly set. If necessary, raise (or, for an air conditioner, lower) the setting 5º.
  • If the unit uses gas, check to make sure the gas supply is turned on and the pilot light is lit.
  • If the fuse blows or the circuit trips repeatedly when the furnace or air conditioner turns on, there is a problem in the electrical system. In this case, do not try to fix the furnace. Call a professional service person.

There are also several important safety factors to remember:

  • Before doing any work on any type of heating or cooling system, make sure all power to the system is turned off.
  • If the unit uses gas and there is a smell of gas in your home, do not try to shut off the gas or turn any lights on or off and call the gas company or the fire department to report a leak. Do not reenter your home.
  • Dirt is the biggest enemy of your home's heating and cooling system. It can waste fuel and drastically lower efficiency.
  • To keep your heating and cooling systems in top shape, have them professionally serviced once a year. The best time to have a furnace serviced is at the end of the heating season.

 

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