Are you worried about your older furnace going into winter? Perhaps it wasn't working perfectly at the end of last year, and you're concerned this will be the winter it breaks down completely. Your concerns are not unfounded. Old furnaces do sometimes quit working altogether, and your best option may be to replace the furnace before winter arrives. But if that's not an option for financial reasons or otherwise, there are some heating system maintenance steps you can take to reduce the burden on your old furnace and increase its chances of making it through the winter.
Change the air filter monthly.
Pushing air through a dirty, clogged air filter is a lot harder than pushing air through a new, clean air filter. So, your furnace is less likely to break down if you keep a clean filter in there at all times. Stock up on filters so you can change yours out every month this winter. Make sure you start off with a fresh filter when you first turn the heat on, too.
Clean the vent covers.
Take a vacuum cleaner, and suck the dust off of your vent covers. This will keep that dust from getting sucked into the system and ending up on your furnace burner where it would decrease efficiency and cause additional strain on the system. It's wise to keep vacuuming your vent covers periodically throughout the winter.
Have it lubricated.
This one is best done by an HVAC professional. Have them come out and lubricate all of the moving parts and pieces in your furnace. Doing so will reduce friction between these parts, which will reduce your risk of a breakdown. Lubrication, specifically, helps prevent worn ball bearings and torn fan belts.
Have the burner cleaned.
While your HVAC contractor is there lubricating your furnace, have them clean the burner, too. Furnaces can heat more efficiently when the burner is clean. In other words, with a clean burner, your furnace will not have to run as long or as often. This leads to reduced wear and tear throughout the winter, which reduces the risk of a breakdown.
Good maintenance can often get an old furnace through one more winter. If your furnace does fail, make sure you have the number of a good HVAC company on-hand. Give them a call, and they can come make the necessary repairs to get your furnace running again.