Over the years, you need to constantly do your part to keep up the efficiency of your HVAC system. The furnace is probably the one appliance that needs the most maintenance. For instance, you need to change the filter on a regular basis. However, there are a few other simple furnace maintenance jobs that you can do on your own. These jobs are definitely worthwhile because the furnace is actually part of both the air conditioning and heating processes. This article explains a couple of simple furnace maintenance jobs that could help reduce your utility bills.
Shutting Down Your Thermostat and Cleaning the Cabinet
Opening up your main furnace cabinet and cleaning out the inside is simple yet important. Once you have the cabinet opened up, you basically just want to thoroughly vacuum it out. However, the hardest part of this task is actually shutting down the gas and power to your furnace so you can safely work on it. You don't want to vacuum inside the furnace cabinet until both are turned off.
The first step is to turn your thermostat to the off position. Then, you need to remove the furnace control panel. Once you have this removed, you should be able to see the gas control knob somewhere inside the main furnace cabinet. It should be clearly marked. You just have to twist it to the off position. Finally, cut the actual power to the furnace. Most modern furnaces don't have a power switch, so you need to find the designated breaker for the unit. At this point it will finally be safe to vacuum out the inside of your furnace cabinet.
Taping the Output Connection
You can also make your furnace more efficient by taping the output duct connection. This is a vital junction where air blows out of the furnace and into the ducts. Since the furnace is often in a garage or storage room, there is a always a risk of it getting knocked loose. This output is often fitted with a step up connection, so it can be more vulnerable. The best way to check this is to run your hand hold your hand up to this connection while your heat or AC is on. If you feel a stream of air, you should probably tape it up. Aluminum foil tape works better than traditional duct tape for this job. It creates a more airtight seal. This definitely helps with airflow into your ducts and reduces your bills in the long run.
These two simple jobs should not be ignored if you want an efficient HVAC system. Contact the contractor who did your heating system installation if you have more questions.