I learned to maintain a furnace in the first home I ever owned. We’d bought a fixer upper house in the country for a really cheap price and over the next few years completely restored everything. I’ve forgotten what all I repaired, but one thing that stick out in my mind is the furnace in the basement. It was old, and I was told by my father that it probably wouldn’t make it through the winter, but I was determined not to have to buy a new one or spend too much money on it. I learned a lot that year, and if I could make that furnace last, you should be able to maintain yours. Here are some of the simple ways I kept that old furnace chugging along.
Fuses, Resets, and Power
Over half the problems I had with that old furnace were due to fuses and no power. Whenever your furnace stops working the first thing you need to look at are the fuses and the circuit breakers. The location of the fuses is different for each unit, but you should be able to find them by using the manual for the unit. If there is an issue with the unit receiving power, it’s most likely a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker. Before you actually do anything make sure you turn the furnace off, then check the circuit breaker. If there are any tripped, flip them back on. If none are tripped it’s probably a fuse. Find the location of the fuses and look for a blown fuse.
Once you replace the fuse, look for a reset button on your furnace. It should be clearly labeled either on the inside of the door or panel, or on the outside of the furnace. Once you locate the reset, wait twenty minutes for your furnace motor to cool off then hit the reset and fire your heating unit back up. If it doesn’t turn on you know you have a bigger problem and should probably give the pros a call.
Even easier than replacing fuses and resets is replacing the filter. Not only is it extremely easy to do, it is also one of the most important maintenance tasks you can do for your furnace. Failure to replace your furnace filter can cause all kinds of problems, including reduced airflow, unit overheating, motor burnout, and total unit failure. Basically, when you have a bad air filter your unit has to work a lot harder than it usually does, and all that extra work can lead to major problems.
Keep Everything Clean
I know your furnace is probably in your basement, or garage, or closet that you barely ever go in, so you won’t want to clean it, but keeping the unit and area around the unit clean will ultimately help to keep everything working well. Also, try to keep your house clean. The less dust and dirt you have in your home, the less dust and dirt gets caught in your furnace filter.
It’s really all about paying attention to your furnace filter. I know it can be easy to forget about because you don’t deal with it every day, but considering how important your furnace is you should probably give your furnace some attention every now and again.