Cleaner furnace for cleaner air
A home heating furnace should be properly maintained to achieve maximum efficiency and avoid costly repairs. The calendar is the best assistant to proper furnace maintenance. At least once a year, before the furnace is in operation, it should be checked for possible problems.
Contemporary furnaces are manufactured for safety as well as energy efficiency. Most have vent and combustion piping, fuel supply and piping, electrical wiring and ductwork connections. If heat is vented through a galvanized steel ductwork system, the ductwork should be cleaned to remove dust that accumulates over time. This is a very important factor in furnace operation. When too much dust accumulates in ductwork, the end result is an inefficient and potentially unsafe furnace.
Furnace duct cleaning can be performed by a well-informed do-it-yourselfer or by a professional furnace or air duct cleaning service. However, any venting that is part of the actual furnace unit should be addressed by a furnace professional.
Furnace Cleaning Services
Furnace cleaning services should be professionally certified. Some furnace cleaning services offer contract plans that are renewed annually, while others offer service on an "as needed" basis. The length of the duct system and the number of heat registers and returns may determine the cost of furnace cleaning services. The condition of the furnace ducts to be cleaned will also likely be a factor.
Changing Furnace Filters
Changing furnace filters is a relatively simple task and requires no professional installation. A furnace air filter is sized to fit the furnace model and acts as a constant furnace air cleaner by trapping particles of dust when the furnace is in operation. It's important to know the furnace air filter size required before purchase, as an ill-fitting filter can be dangerous as well as inefficient.
Furnace air filters are sold in several filter fabric types: HEPA, longer-use pleated fabric and standard fabric. HEPA fabric filters are chemically treated to provide maximum filtration and to also trap dust and pollens. The longer-use fabric filters are made of a pleated, heavy fabric, which offers greater surface area, trapping more and reducing the number of furnace air filters needed per season. Standard fabric filters are constructed of fine-thread materials. This type of filter should be changed every four to six weeks, depending on the age of the furnace and the condition of the furnace ductwork.
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