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Westchester County: 914.668.6461

Bronx/Queens: 718.823.9408

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Yost & Campbell Heating, Cooling & Generators Blog

The Dos and Don’ts of Furnace Maintenance

Furnaces are complex heating systems that require precision maintenance. For any customers who are thinking of grabbing their wrench and heading on down to the basement to do some “fixing,” hopefully this blog post makes them reconsider.

Furnace maintenance is more than just flipping open a panel and checking things. It’s a detailed inspection, a serious effort to clean the components, and it even involves adjustments and evaluations. If a furnace is working perfectly fine but running at 10% lower efficiency than standard, this would normally be spotted during a maintenance visit and addressed quickly. Furnace maintenance in Westchester, when performed by a qualified professional, is very detailed.

There are even some serious downsides to trying maintenance without a license. We hope to address many of the “dos” and “don’ts” of furnace maintenance down below.

What Homeowners Should Do for Their Furnaces

Let’s keep things positive by starting with some tasks that customers should opt to try on their own when looking at maintaining their furnaces. Here are just a few examples of steps that we would totally endorse, and even encourage our customers to take part in on their own.

  • Inspect clearly visible components of the furnace. Anything that doesn’t need to be unscrewed or opened up is fair game for customers to inspect on their own. Go ahead and look at the metal casing of the system to inspect it for damage. Or perhaps customers might look at the port exhaust to ensure it’s not blocked up. All of these are great best practices to try.
  • Test out the furnace. Running the furnace to see how it operates is not just necessary for when it’s cold, but a good idea in general so customers know about its performance.
  • Change the filter. Changing the air filter regularly is an important step of maintenance, and one that we advise customers to do every 1–3 months.
  • Schedule maintenance. Finish strong by scheduling professional maintenance so a technician can continue where a homeowner might leave off.

What Homeowners Should NOT Do for Their Furnaces

Now here are a few things that we’d consider off-limits for homeowners who do not have HVAC licenses of their own.

  • Open the system up to inspect the components. This alone is enough to void a furnace’s warranty, but the negative consequences can be much worse. Leave this part to a qualified professional.
  • Clean the burners or ignition. The burners and ignition system of the furnace are integral to its functionality, but they are not intended to be handled by anyone who isn’t a licensed professional. Messing with these components can be dangerous and extremely expensive to fix.
  • Inspect the wiring. Wiring can be delicate and set up in a specific way to ensure the furnace works properly. Leave these components alone until a pro can take a look.
  • Unscrew anything attached to the furnace. Generally speaking, if an area is closed off by screws, it’s likely reserved for a professional to inspect or maintain.

When in Doubt: Call Us!

For any issues that reside in the “gray zone” of complications, just call our team to find out which category it belongs in.

Schedule furnace maintenance today with Yost & Campbell Heating, Cooling & Generators.

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