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Furnace Maintenance for Winter

Inspect your home’s furnace before winter begins it's cold and blustery attack. As well, it's very important to periodically check during the winter months.

First, we recommend having a qualified technician inspect your furnace or boiler. Yes, this will cost you something, but it will ensure that your heating appliance is working at its peak efficiency. Further, the technician will ensure that there are no safety concerns. Faulty heating appliances and poor installations can cause carbon monoxide to leak into your home. This can cause headaches, drowsiness and even death.

If you must inspect it yourself then read on.

Remember to first trun off the electricity before inspecting your furnace. Then check motors, pulleys and belts for wear. Belt drives can still be found in many modern furnaces.

Some bearings require 2-3 drops of oil annually. Replace disposable filters monthly, and clean washable filters in the air-handling units. It's also a great idea to make certain that the chimney is free of debris/blockage.

If your furnace has a continuous pilot, lighting instructions should be next to the burner. After lighting the pilot, replace all covers, turn on the power, set the thermostat above room temperature and listen for the burner to come one. Depending on how long it takes the furnace to warm, the fan should turn on.

Also, you should close distribution vents in unoccupied areas, but not more than about 25 percent of the total vent area.

More Energy-Saving Tips for the Winter: Read

While Americans are feeling the pinch of spiraling gasoline prices now, they may be in for a bigger shock when they get the bill for heating their homes this winter.

Now is the time to act to head off those wallet-busting heating bills, said Michael Goldschmidt, University of Missouri architect and design specialist. Read more

You can improve the energy efficiency of your heating and cooling systems by as much as 10 percent by cleaning air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed and changing forced air heating system air filters monthly. An alternative to swapping out the replacement filter is to use washable filters (around $20 each). With care, they can last up to five years.

Time to Replace that old furnace? Read

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