Maintaining your home's HVAC system requires a combination of both fairly complex tasks and other, more mundane jobs. Many items on a typical furnace maintenance checklist are surprisingly simple cleaning jobs, although some may require some furnace disassembly. Although these tasks don't seem important, they can help you avoid costly repairs and minimize your furnace's downtime.
While essential cleaning is something a homeowner can perform, it's important to remember that gas appliances can be dangerous. Always shut your furnace down first, and call a professional if you have doubts about your abilities. A typical gas furnace will include numerous items that require inspection and cleaning, including these four critical components.
1. Pilot Light Assemblies
If you own a furnace over a decade old, there's a reasonable chance you still have a pilot light ignition source. Pilot light assemblies can become clogged with soot and debris over time, reducing efficiency and keeping the light from staying lit. A pilot light that goes out frequently or that's hard to restart may have a clogged nozzle or gas tube.
Routinely cleaning the pilot light assembly helps to prevent substantial build-up, ensuring a dead pilot light doesn't leave you out in the cold.
2. Flame Sensors
Modern furnaces use multiple burners with a flame sensor placed near the final burner tube. The flame sensor proves that all burners are operational and lit, allowing your furnace to stay on. If the flame sensor doesn't report an active flame, the gas valve will switch off to prevent an unlit burner from creating a gas leak.
Dirty flame sensors are a common cause of furnace issues, so an annual cleaning is a good way to prevent a potentially frustrating problem.
Your burners are arguably the most important part of your furnace, and accumulated soot, ash, or debris can cause significant problems. A clogged burner may burn inefficiently, creating more severe soot problems within your combustion chamber. Annual cleaning ensures your burners can produce a clean, even flame.
Although burner cleaning isn't difficult, it can sometimes require a lot of furnace disassembly. You should usually consider leaving this take to a professional during your annual HVAC service visit.
4. Combustion Chamber
Is it necessary to clean inside your furnace cabinet and around the combustion chamber? In general, debris in this area isn't a problem, but dust and soot can migrate onto your burners, heat exchanger, flame sensor, or other sensitive components. Keeping the furnace cabinet clean reduces the likelihood of critical components becoming dirty, making annual maintenance much easier.
In general, a clean furnace is likely to last longer and suffer fewer problems. If you aren't comfortable performing these tasks yourself, make sure you always schedule an annual service appointment so a trained technician can take care of routine cleaning along with other critical maintenance steps.
For more information, contact a company such as Paris Heating and Cooling.