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How often we need to clean furnaces

Posted on 07 September 2018 by admin (0)

For people who are living in colder areas of the country, now is the best period to have some thoughts about their heating systems. The kind of technological advancement found in new furnaces nowadays doesn’t require so much work when setting them up for the winter season. Over a decade ago, we were always told to check our boilers and furnaces once annually. But now, electronic appliances do majority of the task. Just a few things are to be done by a service tech during the process of cleaning and checking today‚Äôs furnaces.

The old days:

In the past, whenever a service tech carries out a checks and cleaning, there are always different things he has to work out. First, he pulls out the burner and then blow them with carbon dioxide (co2), he then checks for cracks (with a mirror) around the medium that exchanges heat. After that, he’ll vacuum up the dirt. He’ll also change the “thermocouple” on the “pilot light” and blow dirt out of the pilot light assembly to guarantee a clean burn and that the pilot light is positioned properly on the burner pilot runner and the thermocouple. After doing this, the service man pulls the blower, if it happens to be a blower driven by belt, then add some to the motor and squirrel cage bearings, and then check around the belt for likely cracks. If it were a “direct drive blower”, he only has to oil up the motor bearings.

Now, a service man that is worth his salt will inspect the most vital part of a furnace which is the “limit switch”. There’s always a limit switch in all electric, gas, propane or oil furnace units. It turns the blower on and shuts it down, and its most important work is to force the “gas valve” to shut the burners down if the blower begins to malfunction. Another function is to prevent overheating of the furnace and causing a fire outbreak.

One of the last things a service man does is to examine the “flue pipe” just to ensure it hasn’t been jammed by birds or soot. It’s common to see dead birds in flue pipes. Some of the birds even make it to people’s basements. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen with new furnaces. And the final task on the list is to check it out for gas leakage.

Comparing the old furnaces to the new ones:

Today’s furnaces don’t require so much attention from a service tech like the furnaces used about 10 years ago. All that needs to be done on the modern furnaces is to examine the “flame sensors”. The burners rarely get dirty because they work mostly in closed areas. The circuit board controls the gas valve, blower, and the safety controls. The blowers in the new furnaces are well sealed now as well. They don’t require oiling!

So how often should you get your furnaces checked?

This depends greatly on the environment your furnace is used in. If it is used in an environment that has much dust, then you must check your furnace once, annually.

However, some tech guys think homeowners only have to check their furnaces when they are not functioning properly. Regardless of this, it’s left to the homeowner to decide how often they want to have their furnace checked.