Keeping your furnace running correctly is not difficult, and most of the time, it comes down to furnace maintenance. The furnace's condition and the care that you give it go hand in hand, so extending the furnace's life and keeping it running efficiently is easy if you pay attention to what it needs and service it regularly.
The furnace in your home does need some basic care throughout the year. Furnace maintenance typically starts with changing filters in the system and cleaning the firebox, heat exchanger, and other internal parts.
If the furnace maintenance has not been done in a while, it is good to have a technician come and clean the entire unit and inspect everything to ensure it is working properly. This will allow the tech to find any issues that the furnace may have and make furnace repairs before the heating season starts.
The furnace maintenance typically starts with cleaning, and that can take some time to do correctly. The technician will take the furnace apart and clean all the old soot and other material from the burner and clean the heat exchanger so the hot air can move freely around it and allow a more efficient transfer of heat.
Part of furnace maintenance is changing all the filters. Some of the filters are for air but if your furnace runs on heating oil, there is a filter for the fuel. The air filters are often a standard paper filter available at most home centers and are disposable, so don't try and clean them. If the filters are dirty, throw them away and get new ones for the furnace.
It is essential that the filter allows enough air into the furnace to run properly, but never run the unit without the proper filters in place or you may draw in debris that will damage the furnace and require major furnace repairs. If the furnace is shutting down because of a clogged filter, buy a replacement filter and replace the old one before restarting the furnace or call a furnace maintenance company and have them change the filters and check the system.
The fuel filter should be changed by a furnace technician because once the filter is removed, air can get into the fuel line, and it needs to be bled from the system. Air trapped in the fuel line can travel to the burner, and once it reaches the fuel nozzle, it will cause the furnace to stop running. Bleeding the air from the system is the best way to prevent this from happening. For more information, contact a furnace maintenance service.