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How To Maintain And Clean Your Furnace

Where To Begin With Heater Maintenance?

Cold fronts here in Austin can come out of nowhere, and you don’t want to be left unprepared. Furnace maintenance is one of the best things a homeowner can do to keep their house comfortable. Believe it or not, a clean furnace really can make all the difference.

Champion AC & Plumbing, your HVAC ally in Austin, wants you to know how you can stay on top of heater maintenance. We’ll explain how to clean your unit by:

  • Changing air filters
  • Vacuuming burners
  • Cleaning up a hot surface igniter or pilot light
  • Cleaning blower blades
  • Checking a flame sensor

Let’s take a look at how and why you should care for your home’s heating unit.

How Often Should You Clean Your Furnace?

For many homeowners, heating systems tend to suffer from being “out of sight, out of mind.” It’s easy to ignore your furnace’s needs, allowing debris or damages to build up and eventually cost you a fortune in repairs. Waiting for your heater to tell you when something is wrong isn’t always enough — proactive maintenance will keep your system in good health.

As a general rule, your furnace should be checked every few months to make sure it’s working fine. There are many diverse heating systems with unique needs, and certain parts may require more frequent maintenance. For instance, homeowners with ductwork will want to regularly inspect their ducts, especially if there are airflow changes.

The best way to review your unit’s health is with a professional HVAC inspection. By scheduling a maintenance visit with Champion AC & Plumbing, you can make sure your Austin home continues to be heated just right.

Your Furnace Maintenance Checklist

Taking care of your heating system is important, but remember that your furnace can be a delicate and dangerous machine. Always make sure to turn off the power switch before a system check-up, to prevent unwanted damage to yourself and your unit.

1. Change The Air Filter

Your furnace’s air filter should be changed at least once every three months. This helps keep the airflow clear and allows heating to reach your home. During months when your heater is being used often, the air filter can get dirty quicker. In these cases, more frequent maintenance might be necessary.

Each home is unique, and so is its heating system. To determine the best consistency for changing your air filter, you can review manufacturer recommendations or reach out to Champion AC & Plumbing!

2. Vacuum The Burners

To check your furnace’s burners, take off the combustion chamber door, turn the power back on and raise the thermostat.

Healthy burner flames are blue. Yellow flames mean your burner is likely dirty. However, a yellow hue can also suggest a release of carbon monoxide.

To provide a standard cleaning, you can vacuum the burners and the furnace base after turning the power off. Don’t try to adjust the burners yourself. Instead, call the team at Champion AC & Plumbing to see to this.

3. Clean The Hot Surface Igniter Or Pilot Light

If your furnace is a modern one, it’s likely to use a hot surface igniter — older furnaces will have a pilot light. Cleaning either of these can usually be done by blowing directed air through a drinking straw. However, do not attempt to touch your hot surface igniter if you have one. They are quite fragile, and you should take great care when operating around them.

4. Clean The Blower

After unscrewing your blower, you can remove it and clean the blades using a small brush and vacuum. You must be careful to not damage or stress the blower’s wiring and counterweights. To keep your blower working as efficiently as possible, give the blades a thorough cleaning.

5. Clean The Flame Sensor

Your furnace’s flame sensor is necessary for ignition, and your unit will fail to activate if this part is left dirty for too long. After pulling the flame sensor out of its bracket, give it a good cleaning. A fine emery cloth is good for removing residue from the sensor.

Get The Best Heater Maintenance In Austin

Maintenance for your furnace is crucial, but even more so is making sure it’s done by the right people. Champion AC & Plumbing offers quality furnace tune-ups that cannot only track down problems with your unit but also boost your heater’s effectiveness and lifespan. Proper furnace care is an investment for both the present and future, so don’t hesitate to give Champion AC & Plumbing a call!