Properly maintaining your furnace is key to keeping your home warm and safe during the winter. Follow these tips to keep your furnace working right.
First of all, if you smell gas, get everyone out. Use your neighbor's phone to call a qualified repair person or the gas company immediately. If possible, shut off the gas main from outside the home.
Caution: Never attempt to repair gas lines yourself.
- Clean or change furnace filters regularly. Replace disposable filters. Wash, brush or vacuum permanent filters.
- Check the exhaust vent from the furnace. Clear obstructions such as leaves or animal nests from the vent pipe. Keep roof exhaust vents clear of snow.
- Inspect the blower motor with the power off. Vacuum any accumulated dirt. If the owner's manual calls for it, oil the motor. Inspect the V-belt and pulleys for wear. Tighten the belt if it moves more than an inch when you push it.
- Check air intake. Most mobile home furnaces draw combustion air from beneath the home. To allow air to pass freely beneath the home, the skirting should have four to six vents.
- Replace carpeting in the furnace compartment with sheet metal or other fireproof material. Newer mobile home furnaces have wire mesh in front of the stack to prevent storage on top of the furnace. If this mesh is missing, replace it.
- Be sure the thermostat on your furnace is in good working condition by keeping it clean. Have it checked periodically by a heating professional.
- Clean out debris in the furnace area. Never use your furnace closet for storage or drying clothes.
- Check the flue assembly (when cool) for alignment and rigidity. The flue should run in a straight line from the top of the furnace through the ceiling. Be sure the flue is attached to the furnace collar. Check for loose wiring near the flue. If you find any, move it and secure it well away from the flue pipe.
- Keep the flue pipe free of excessive deposits of carbon. Have your furnace maintenance person check and clean the flue pipe, fuel lines, safety controls and burner before each heating season.
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