If you heat your home with a furnace the last thing you want to have happened is for it to go down on a cold night. Fortunately, there are many things you can do on your own to keep it running well for you, two of which are listed below. Before you do any of the below, however, make sure your furnace is turned off. To be completely sure, turn off the circuit breakers that powers the furnace.
Clean the Motor and Blower
Over time the motor and blower become dirty with build up dirt. When this happens, they will not work properly. You can clean both things on your own. To do this, you will need a vacuum cleaner with a hose, a small brush, like a toothbrush, filter, and a screwdriver.
First, remove the filter and either clean it or replace it. You should always do this approximately once a month when the furnace is in use. The blower is behind the filter. You need to clean the housing, pulleys, and belts using a damp, clean rag.
Next, you need to clean the fan. Use a screwdriver to remove the fan. You may need to disconnect the power cord to get the fan out far enough to properly clean it. Clean the blades with the brush and use the vacuum hose to remove any debris that you see.
Inspect Motor Belt
You will see a belt on the motor. Press on the belt to ensure it is firm. If you feel a lot of give when pressing on the belt, then it needs to be replaced. Also look at the belt for any kind of deterioration or cracks. To allow you to inspect the belt better you can remove it. To do this, loosen the bolts on the motor until you get enough slack on the belt to remove it. Do not completely remove the bolts. If you see anything wrong with the belt, you can go ahead and replace it now.
A new belt is only a few dollars, and this will save you a lot of money in the long run. This is because a worn-out belt may cause the motor to burn out eventually, which is a much more expensive furnace repair.
Even though you can do these things on your own you still need to have your furnace serviced and maintained by a professional once a year.