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» Money Saving Furnace Tune-Up

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Maintaining your furnace well will eliminate part of your gas bill and will also help your furnace to last years longer, and may in fact prevent the need for costly repairs. Of all the enemies of your utility bill, dirt has to rank as number one.

Every aspect of the furnace may collect it, from blower, to filter to motor and every aspect of it needs to be cleaned to keep your furnace well tuned and functioning efficiently.

Keeping it well tuned may have a much longer life span and cut your utility bill as much as a 100 dollars over the course of the winter.

Before beginning your tune-up, be absolutely certain that you have shut off the electric power to the furnace.
The main circuit breaker box is the best place to accomplish this and be certain of it. A furnace has what is called a transformer, which makes a slight humming noise as it operates.
If you can still hear this humming, you have not correctly shut off the power to the furnace.
Once your power is off, remove the side cover to gain access to the blower compartment. Using the brush for your vacuum cleaner, clean off as much dust as possible from every aspect of your furnace, including the intake and vents if your furnace has a vented furnace room door.
Inspect your furnace filter.
These should ideally be changed every other month, so now is a good time to purchase and install a new one.

If there are areas you cannot reach with the vaccuum brush, wipe them clean with a damp rag. Try to wipe off as much of the squirrel-cage blower wheel as possible. A layer of dirt on the wheel can reduce its air flow capacity and will cost you more to heat your home.

Most blowers are direct-drive, but some, particularly those which are older, will have pulleys and a belt. This belt should flex up and down about one-half inch in the center. To adjust the belt, loosen the motor mounting screws and slide the motor as needed to either tighten or loosen the belt carefully.

Check the furnace opening for soot, a very thick black tarrish substance, which is a sigh of bad combustion,and is adding dollars to your bill.
Turn up the thermostat to start the furnace and if possible view the flames.
They should be steady and blue, perhaps occasionally jumping in response to wind, however they should not be steadily yellow and dancing. If they don’t look right or you find soot,it is time for a furnace inspection by a technician.

It probably isn’t necessary to check for leaks, but it doesn’t hurt to do so..
Mis a couple teaspoons of dishwashing liquid with a couple tablespoons of water, and put a few drops on each gas line and fittings..If there are leaks you will see bubbles almost immediately and you may in fact be able to smell them.

When you replace the side cover, be certain all the screws are as tight as possble as this too will save money on the heating costs, providing an air tight environment.

For more on furnaces and how to make them more economical, visit Furnaces: How Stuff Works


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