Heating maintenance is important whether you have an electric or gas furnace. However, it's even more important when you use gas since the combustion process in the furnace creates carbon monoxide that could potentially harm your family.
By making sure your furnace is clean and operating properly, you can eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Here are important parts of your furnace a heating maintenance technician needs to check and clean.
1. The Flame Sensor
This is the small part that checks that a flame ignites the gas as your furnace starts up. If the sensor doesn't detect a flame, it shuts the gas down for safety reasons. The sensor can get coated with grit which makes it malfunction. When that happens, your furnace won't operate properly.
A heating maintenance technician can take the flame sensor out of your furnace and sand it down so it can detect a flame again. If the sensor is bad, the technician can put in a new one. It's a good idea to have the sensor cleaned during an annual service call before winter sets in.
2. The Combustion Chamber
The combustion chamber gets coated with soot and it needs to be brushed clean. Then the soot needs to be vacuumed out so the heating technician can examine the sides to make sure there are no holes or cracks. Holes or cracks in the combustion area or heat exchanger could lead to a carbon monoxide leak, so it's important to look for damage.
Cleaning the combustion chamber is important too because if soot keeps building up, it might puff out of the furnace and make a mess in your basement or house.
3. The Blower
The blower is a squirrel-cage fan that circulates warm air through the ducts. Dust accumulates on the blower, and when it does, the blower can be hard to spin or it might produce a low airflow.
Your furnace operates more efficiently with a clean blower, so the heating maintenance technician will probably pull the blower out of the furnace and scrub it clean. A blower can be a little challenging to clean due to all the small fins, but it's important to get all the dust out of the fan so it operates optimally.
4. The Burners
The burners in your gas furnace get caked with soot and combustion debris. The maintenance technician needs to remove the burners from your furnace and scrub them clean with a brush.
They may also spray the burners with compressed air to clear out flakes of debris so no parts of the burners are clogged. Once they're clean, the burners can be returned to your furnace and be ready for another winter of heating.