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It’s easy to just switch on your furnace or heat pump and hope everything works when cold weather rolls around in Bradenton, FL. But foregoing proper fall maintenance can lead to your heating system running inefficiently or even breaking down. Here is a complete guide to maintaining your furnace each fall.

Clean All Heating Components

Over the course of the year, your furnace attracts all sorts of dust and gunk. Burning dust on your furnace’s burner is responsible for that acrid smell that you get when you turn the furnace on for the first few time each year.

In addition to causing poor indoor air quality, a dirty furnace or heat pump doesn’t run as well as a clean one. Components like the circuit board run hotter than they should. Over time, this added heat can cause these parts to fail and your furnace to break down.

A trained HVAC technician has special equipment to clean all of the parts of your heating system without damaging them. This cleaning should happen each fall.

Lubricate All Moving Parts

Your furnace or heat pump doesn’t have a lot of moving parts, but these parts move a lot of air. Over the course of a winter, things like your blower fan and the belt that drives it get a workout and need to be properly lubricated to work correctly.

Without this lubrication, these parts require more energy to run. They also create more heat when they run, which can make them wear out quicker than they would have otherwise.

Check the Vital Heating System Parts

Your furnace has a few key parts that have to work in order for your furnace to function. A few that frequently have issues are the pilot light or electronic ignition, the heat exchanger and the furnace thermostat.

A professional HVAC technician should inspect any of these parts for damage or wear before the heating season. If any are failing, the technician can fix the problem before it becomes a breakdown and potentially a night spent in the cold.

Check the Gas Connections

If you have a gas furnace, you must make sure that there are no leaks in your gas service lines before the heating season. Leaks can cause gas to build up near your furnace and potentially explode, so this is one thing on the annual checklist that’s about more than keeping you comfortable; it’s about keeping you safe.

Test Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors

Not every item on your fall maintenance checklist requires a professional. Checking your smoke and CO detectors is something you can do easily and is key to keeping you safe over the winter. Old models of smoke and CO detectors used 9-volt batteries, so if you have one of these, now is the time to change the batteries.

Newer smoke and CO detectors have long-lasting permanent batteries or are hard-wired into your house. But these also require some checking. Test each one to see if the alarm still works, and replace it if it does not.

If any of your detectors are more than 10 years old, replace them. Smoke and CO detectors become less sensitive over time, and old detectors may not alert you to a dangerous condition.

Clean the Condensate Line

If you have a high-efficiency furnace or heat pump, your system will use a pipe to drain water created during the heating process away from the furnace. This pipe, called a condensate line, can get clogged with dust and dirt over time, especially when the system hasn’t run for a while.

A clog can cause the water to back up, causing it to stop working. A professional HVAC technician will make sure that your condensate line is clean during an annual maintenance visit and flush it out if required.

If you haven’t maintained your furnace or heat pump this year, call Aqua Plumbing & Air. We have a full team of trained HVAC technicians ready to service your furnace or heat pump this fall. Set up an appointment today.

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