Furnace Repair & Maintenance: The Basics

Have you ever had the misfortune of having your furnace die on you in the middle of winter? If this is an experience you’ve been through, you know exactly how much of a pain it can be, and how stress-inducing it is. Being stuck without heat when the temperature is twenty or thirty below is no joke! Winter is tough enough, and there are so many other things to worry about besides your furnace. The best thing you can do is maintain it in good condition, and minimize the chances of it malfunctioning at inconvenient times.

To be sure, it goes without saying that getting professionals in to take care of your furnace repair and maintenance is always best. Toronto HVAC companies like AirPlus have all the skills, experience, and tools needed to maintain your furnace in excellent working order. If you call AirPlus, we will send a qualified technician to your home to take care of anything that you need. Every service we provide comes with a professional warranty.

All the same, our customers always ask us what they can do to better maintain their furnaces, so here are some basic tips. If you follow these simple furnace repair and maintenance tips, and get an annual professional tune-up, you can sleep easy at night, knowing that the heating system in your Toronto home will run smoothly all winter long.

Basic Furnace Maintenance

Before you begin anything, be sure that the power supply for your furnace is turned off. You really don’t want a motor to start running while you are tinkering around with the furnace. Be sure that the fuel supply is shut off as well if you have a gas or oil furnace. Do you know how to rekindle the pilot light once it is off? If you don’t, then you will have to call in a furnace repair technician in any case.

  • Changing the filter. One of the simplest things you can do to maintain your furnace in peak condition is change the filter on a regular basis – assuming you are using a forced-air or heat pump furnace. The recommended interval for this may differ, depending on your furnace. Try doing this on a monthly basis at first, and then see if you need to do it more or less frequently. Affordable fiberglass filters usually do the job; midrange filters are even better. When you change your filter regularly enough, this will maximize the efficiency of your furnace, and minimize your energy bills.
  • Removing dust. Every couple of months, it is a good idea to vacuum the furnace’s blower. Try to vacuum other accessible areas of the furnace as well. Even if you change the filter regularly, dust will accumulate, both on the blower blades, and elsewhere within the furnace. This simple step will help you avoid costly furnace repair problems later on.
  • Oiling. Do you happen to have an older furnace? If it is a propane or natural gas furnace, here is what you should do. Oil the blower shaft and the motor annually – you should only need a few drops of oil to do this; 20-weight oil will do. If you have a newer furnace you don’t need to worry about this particular furnace repair and maintenance tip; the furnace should have sealed bearings.
  • Check the blower belt. If your furnace has a blower, which it probably does, take a look at its belt every few months. Is it cracked? Fraying? If so, you should probably call in a Toronto furnace repair technician to have it replaced. Even if the belt seems to be alright, the technician will be able to check and see if everything is properly aligned. This is crucial, as misaligned pulleys will wear the belt out faster.
  • Replace the oil filter. If you have an oil furnace, you may also want to replace the oil filter regularly. Talk to an experienced Toronto furnace repair technician to figure out how often you should do this. You might also need to bleed air from the fuel line annually; this step may or may not be necessary, depending on your furnace model.
  • Check for leaks. You should inspect all fuel lines and ducts regularly to see if there are any leaks. If there are, they will need to be sealed with metal tape or a special type of silicone, and it is best to get a professional to do this. Taking care of issues like these immediately is very important; a gas leak is not something you should shrug off! After the furnace repair technician fixes the problem, they should also perform proper tests to ensure that the leaks are truly sealed.
  • Hot water systems. If this is what you have in your home, one thing you should do every year is bleed air out of the pipes and radiators. It is usually a simple process, which involves opening the bleeder valves on the radiators until water flows out – minus any spluttering. Just remember to have a receptacle ready to catch the hot water.

 

Lastly, it is very important to make sure that any chimneys and external vents are always kept clear and free of debris. Snow, birds’ nests, and leaves can all cause problems, so make sure that nothing is blocking your vents. You don’t want to have a carbon monoxide problem indoors; this is extremely dangerous.

 

AirPlus, the Furnace Repair Professionals

 

AirPlus has been serving the Greater Toronto Area for twenty years and counting. If you want quality furnace repair service that is affordable and reliable, we are the people to call. AirPlus always strives to make sure that our customers’ furnaces are functioning at maximum efficiency; we understand how much energy costs, and want you to get the most out of your home’s heating and cooling appliances. We also offer preventative maintenance plans, free diagnostic services, and even emergency services for those times when something goes wrong unexpectedly. Call AirPlus today with your furnace repair questions and concerns.

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