There are different types of furnaces and all of them needs you to fine-tune them and ensure regular maintenance.
Some of the common furnaces include electric furnaces, fuel combustion furnaces, and induction furnaces.
There are many reasons as well as benefits of scheduling a regular furnace tune-up and maintenance.
Here are 15 excellent videos packed with expert tips that can guide you towards the right path, including understanding of basic furnace problems diagnosis and troubleshooting.
The Benefits: Why Get Your Furnace Tuned-up
There are four basic reasons why you need to get your furnace tuned-up: Safety, health, comfort, and energy savings.
When your furnace has been fine-tuned then it tends to work without sparking risks such as blow-ups. You will also feel comfortable using a furnace that works well.
A fine-tuned furnace produces clean energy hence good for your health, while you will also save energy that could have been wasted on running a poorly tuned furnace. Timely furnace tune-up and maintenance is the basis of saving your money that could have otherwise been wasted on paying for extra energy bills.
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You need to tune-up your furnace regularly (yearly) so that you can achieve the elements of safety, efficiency, and effectiveness.
An effective furnace can deliver its purpose optimally by working as required, and has no faults or errors when in use. Improper tune-up or failure to maintain a furnace through servicing has always been the cause of breakdowns and improper consumption of energy.
On the other hand, a tuned-up furnace is that which is safe your home and commercial use. Many of those who regularly do maintenance also shared the fact that their furnaces have lasted longer.
How Does a Furnace Work?
Understanding the basics of how your furnace works is an important step towards answering the question “why a furnace needs a regular tune-up?”
Your furnace has five key components i.e. the thermostat, blow-motor, heat exchanger, burners and home ductwork.
The thermostat is meant to regulate the amount of heat produced. The blow motor wafts away the heat energy produced into the ductwork and your rooms. The heat exchanger ensures that heat can be cooled and heated when need be. The ductwork supplies the heat energy around your house.
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A gas furnace works differently from an electric furnace. For this furnace, natural gas is introduced into the combustion chamber.
Next, the heat produced is directed into the heat exchanger which conducts heat to the heat filaments attached to a motor.
The work of this motor is to propel the heat energy towards the ductwork within your house. The flue vent is tasked with releasing the exhaust fumes out to your chimney.
Although furnaces differ in terms of model, most of them use natural gas or propane. A modern gas furnace is designed with 2 airflow systems. One system operates while the furnace is running while.
This system utilizes a draft inducer fan which is crucial for sucking in the air into the furnace’s burner. Then the burner warms the heat exchange which then releases heat into the distribution motor as shown in the following video:
Clean, Check, Maintenance, and Furnace Tune Up.
A forced-air furnace needs to be checked and cleaned regularly, whilst it is advisable to maintain your furnace before the cold season arrives. Some of the maintenance can be done by a homeowner while others are better done by a qualified technician.
To do that, you need to ensure that the suck-in return is well-positioned. The heat blower should also be checked and cleaned and so do the heat exchanger.
In video below, heating and plumbing expert Richard Trethewey shares the best practices for keeping furnace up and running during winter:
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There are several components that a maintenance contractor should check during your regular tune-up and maintenance.
The first item that needs to be checked is the burner compartment, the second one is gas valves (they need to be adjusted yearly to make sure that the gas pressure is correct), and the third component is the exhaust vent (it should be checked and clean of soot).
When checking your furnace, consider checking the two lights showing the status of your furnace. The light codes tell you if the system has an error or if it is working properly.
Before checking anything, you need to unplug the 120 volts electric supply to the furnace.
Check the blow motor by unscrewing and pulling it out. You can check and clean the blow motor separately and away from the other furnace components.
The following videos give great overview and tips on furnace tune up:
After a full clean up and checking, you can now test your furnace. Plugin the 120 volts electric supply but remember to use a jumper wire so that you can be in control of the furnace and its components.
Connect the jumper wire to terminal R and W, then turn on the gas valve. As soon as the gas valve and electric power are one, the draft up the flue will start working after the inducer motor. If everything is working perfectly then you are good to go.
To save repairs and money, you need to do simple clean up and checks.
The first step is to turn the gas off. With the old system, the first thing that you need to check is the motor. Then check the oil port and do some moisture cleaning, while also do some cobweb cleaning.
Finally, check the burner assembly and ensure that all the vents in your house are working.
It is also advisable to clean your furnace burner using a flat nozzle vacuum cleaner.
Here your vacuum cleaner will suck out any residue such as soot and other debris. However, this should be done when the gas valve is turned off to cut off the gas supply.
You can also vacuum clean other compartments containing the motors and circuit board.
The point checkups of your furnace should be done by a heating professional but some minor things are crucial in keeping your equipment running and safe for your house.
The first thing to do is to switch off the gas supply. Then, proceed to check the electronic ignition, check the bower, check the computer board of any dust (but consider calling a professional to clean it). Avoid touching the small diode on the computer board.
In video below, John Holland from All Utah Home Repair shares his insights on how to keep your furnace in top condition:
Basic Furnace Problems Diagnosis
Flame sensors problems are common and this can be corrected by cleaning them.
Filter problems should be corrected by replacing them and even cleaning them. Bad igniters should be replaced or cleaned. If not, they will not ignite your gas to produce heat.
Check the motors as well; some tend to produce a roaring sound and that means you need to replace it.
Sometimes, the gas valves may become a source of your furnace inefficiency.
To diagnose this problem, consider replacing the gas valve with the right one. There are also issues related to inducers. In the event that inducer does not draw in enough air, it is crucial to replace it remove it then clean it before placing it back.
The exhaust gas tubes might also get a partial blockage. To correct that, you need to remove the soot deposit from it.
If your furnace won’t heat, here are several things to do and get it running.
Check a component that looks like a flywheel. This wheel should be working as it tells your furnace that there is adequate ventilation.
If this wheel has stopped, then, there is a problem. If your ventilation wheel is working and no heat, then you need to check your igniter.
If the igniter is working, then proceed to check the flame sensor. Flame sensors can be cleaned by removing the corrosion and then placing it back.
In the excellent video below, Adam shares his DIY tips on how to fix a furnace that won’t heat:
Header furnace image source: Wikimedia