Maintaining a heating system is usually easy and can be trouble-free. And no matter what type of furnace you have, we have tips to keep your furnace and air conditioner in top working condition. Who knew that equipment maintenance can be made fun and easy.
Several safety factors before starting:
- Make sure all power supplies are turned off. Look for the electrical panel; you will have to remove the fuse that controls the power to the unit. If you are not sure which circuit the system is on, you may do either of the three:
- Remove main fuse
- Trip the main circuit breaker to cut off all power supply
- If there two separate power entrance, remove the fuse or trip the breaker there.
- Watch out if any of the fuse blows or any circuit trips repeatedly when you turn on the unit. This is a sign that there is a problem in the electrical system. In this scenario stop everything that you are doing and call a professional service person.
- If your unit is powered by gas and you detected even just a hint of the smell of gasoline, you have to get out of the building immediately. Do not try to turn on or off any lights. As you go out of the facility leave the doors open and call the fire department or your gas company to report a leak.
- Make sure to schedule a professional cleaning service for your heating and cooling system annually. This ensures that your unit is in its top working condition. The best time to have this done is towards the end of the heating season; considered as the off-season you would more likely get discounts and prompt service. While you are at it, it would not hurt if you have your air conditioner checked as well.
Before you start any actual work on your heating or cooling system, do the following steps:
- Is the unit receiving power? Check the main entrance panel if there are any tripped circuit breakers. There would be some furnaces that have fuses mounted inside or on the unit itself. Others, you’ll have to look for a separate power entrance that would be located at a different panel.
- Let the motor cool down first. This usually takes around 30 minutes. Once you are certain that the unit has cooled off look for the reset button located near the motor housing. Press that button and wait for the unit to start. If the unit does not power on repeat the process after 30 minutes. Repeat the process one more time if you have to.
- Check to see if the unit has a separate power switch. If it does make sure to turn it on.
- Check that the thermostat is working properly or is set appropriately. You can raise the temperature by 5°, for heaters, and lower it by 5° if you are cleaning an air conditioner.
- If your unit is powered by gas make sure that the gas supply is turned on. There should also be a pilot lit and it should be lit. Some units use oil. In this case just ascertain that the oil supply is still adequate.
This is just the beginning on our next article we will discuss how to clean, lubricate and change the belt a furnace.