Revised: Fall 2023
DIY – Do it yourself is big these days. Understandable. We’re all trying to stretch our dollars. While we’re told we’re not in a recession, it seems inflation is still an abiding issue, and therefore our confidence as consumers and homeowners is pretty low. All that to say I’m all for doing things yourself, if you have the proper tools and training.
Homeowners can undertake several simple DIY tasks for maintenance to prevent costly furnace repairs and ensure their system runs efficiently. Here are some key tasks that can be easily performed:
1. Change the Air Filter: One of the easiest and most important tasks is to regularly change or clean the air filter. A clean filter improves air quality and efficiency by preventing dust and debris from entering the furnace. It’s recommended to check the filter monthly and replace or clean it as needed.
2. Inspect and Clean Vents and Registers: Ensure that all vents and registers in your home are not blocked by furniture or debris. Cleaning them regularly helps maintain steady airflow and prevents dust accumulation.
3. Thermostat Check: Test your thermostat to ensure it’s working correctly. You can do this by setting the temperature higher than the current room temperature and observing if the furnace kicks in.
4. Clean the Blower Assembly: Accessing the blower assembly might require more effort, but cleaning it can greatly improve the efficiency of your furnace. You can use a vacuum and a small brush to gently remove dust and debris
5. Check the Condensate Drain: If your furnace has a condensate drain, check and clean it to prevent clogs. A clogged drain can cause water leakage and affect humidity levels in your home.
6. Visual Inspection for Rust or Corrosion: Regularly inspect your furnace for any signs of rust or corrosion, particularly around the flue pipe. Any such signs should be addressed promptly to avoid bigger issues.
7. Test Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Ensure your home’s carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly, as a malfunctioning furnace can lead to carbon monoxide leaks.
However, I’ve also seen many do-it-yourself talk out there that might convince a homeowner that what they’re doing is equivalent to what they’d be paying a qualified heating and air conditioning technician to do. (See do it yourself furnace maintenance tips here, here, and here for some idea of what’s out there.) These steps are absolutely better than doing nothing, so if you really are unable to call a qualified company out, use these sites as guides.
However for a relatively small charge (in the case of Homesense it is $150 annually) you can get your system completely ready for the long winter. The difference between the do-it-yourself method and bringing in a pro, without getting too technical, is that there are parts within the system that should be completely removed, checked, and cleaned as part of the system upkeep. In addition, a trained technician will be able to determine if your system is running at it’s most efficient performance, and make any needed tweaks to ensure this is the case.
There are many benefits to regular HVAC maintenance. Here are some of the biggest benefits our clients experience:
Whether you’re in Indianapolis or somewhere else with a bitter cold winter, we encourage everyone to get their furnace ready for the long days ahead.