Heritage technician inspecting heating system

Your home’s gas furnace is the key to staying warm all year long, so today we’re going to cover all the steps our expert technicians go through when maintaining a gas furnace.

Turn the Thermostat On

Before we look at anything, we need to ensure the thermostat is working properly. By turning on the thermostat and setting it to heat at a higher setting than the current ambient room temperature, we can verify that the HVAC system turns on and comes up to temperature appropriately. Our team can also help you upgrade to a smart thermostat.

Many HVAC units, like Goodman high-efficiency condensing gas furnaces, are equipped with many features to improve your home’s comfort: whole home humidity controls and high-efficiency air filters help keep the air comfortable during the dryer months.

Turn Off Power & Gas to the System

To begin the maintenance process, we’ll first need to cut the power and gas to the system, and take off the top and bottom covers of the unit and place them safely out of the way.

Cleaning the Flame Sensor & Inspecting the Ignitor

Once the power and gas are shut off, we’ll clean the flame sensor. Brillo or Scotch-Brite pads are a good way to remove the slag that develops on these sensors, which can result in greatly reduced performance from your heating system.

Next, we’ll take a look at the ignitor for the furnace, checking for distortion and/or excessive wear. Usually, these develop white lines in them when they’re out of shape, which is a good sign they’re ready to be replaced.

Cleaning the Gas Burners

Cleaning the gas burners on the system involves taking the whole assembly out, which leaves the burners exposed. Burners are particularly important to clean thoroughly because if they accumulate enough grime, they can fail to light, which puts too much gas into the system. We use a wire brush to clean away soot buildup or corrosion on these tubes and their crossover slits.

Inspecting the Heat Exchanger

Inspecting the heat exchanger is the most important part of a maintenance service. Any cracks, gaps, or deformities in the heat exchanger can block the path of the flame that is used to heat the air in your home. Issues here could even leak harmful gasses into your home’s air.

If we find any cracks or problems with this component of your unit, we will recommend either replacing this component or the system as a whole. Pressure switches should also be inspected and maintained regularly.

Inspecting the Condensate Pump & Removal System

Condensate is naturally acidic, which can be damaging to septic systems and plumbing, so we rely on acid-neutralizing condensate pumps. These pumps use a medium to make this acid safe for the environment. Usually, there’s an easy-to-access trap on these pumps you have to clean out periodically.

Testing the Blower

The blower on your HVAC system functions to move the air throughout your home, so it’s crucial this functions properly. Often, capacitors on these can fail, so this is one thing we always test during our maintenance checklists.

The blower motor itself can also become worn down over time, so we also regularly check the ball bearings in these fans to ensure they have enough lubrication.

Replacing Air Filters

When air filters become clogged with dust, your system has to work harder to push the same amount of air. That’s why we recommend changing air filters in your home every 3-6 months, depending on the thickness of the filters you use, the number of people living in your home, number of pets, and other variables.

Just Call Heritage!

Some aspects of HVAC system maintenance can be dangerous, so it’s best to leave projects like this to the pros. Our team handles all of the steps above, and much more, including combustion analysis to determine how efficient your current system is. Contact our expert team today to learn more about our comprehensive heating services in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.