Keeping Your Furnace and Boiler Running Efficiently

Keeping your furnace or boiler in tip-top shape will help keep you and your family warm and safe this winter. If you haven't changed your furnace filters in a while, this is one of the easiest things you can to keep your furnace running efficiently. You should change your filters 3-4 times a year. It's fairly simple, filters are usually accessed by a door on the side of the furnace and the existing filter should have all the information on it you need to purchase a new one. Before you put the new filter in, mark the date on it so you'll always know how old it is.

Having a service technician do a yearly maintenance cleaning and check each year will make sure that everything is working properly and extend the life of your furnace or boiler. There are also things you can look for that will let you know if your furnace or boiler is in working efficiently.

From Lennox Industries:

Scale: Flakes of rust, produced by the by-products of burning gas (carbon dioxide and water vapor). Scale may fall on the burners and impede gas flow. Over time, it can damage your furnace or boiler by harboring moisture, thereby fostering rust on a large scale. The solution: Your service technician can take out the burners and clean them. You can clean out excess rust flakes that fall to the bottom of the furnace housing.

Unusual Noises: Grinding, chattering sounds from relays (signifying electrical problems), a burner that huffs and puffs, banging (delayed ignition), or clunking and bumping (cracked belt passing over pulleys)? The solution: A good rule of thumb: if it's an unusual noise, it's a problem. Call your service technician

Yellow Flame: That flame should be sharp and blue, clean and stable, burning as purely as possible. A yellow flame indicates dirt in the burner, which prevents it from mixing the gas and air properly. The solution: Call your technician to thoroughly test the system and clean it.

You turn your furnace or boiler on and you notice an unusual smell:

  1. Don't worry; it's just burning the dust out of the combustion chamber. On a furnace, change your filter
  2. If it's a constant odor, call your technician.
  3. If it smells like gas, call your utility company or the fire department and stay outside until no danger has been confirmed.

Please remember that Carbon Monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless, and it can kill you if it's concentrated enough. It is caused by a lack of oxygen or a disruption of the fuel-burning process. The solutions: Your furnace or boiler breathes, just like you. Provide adequate ventilation to the unit and consider installing a fresh-air (combustion) intake. Use carbon monoxide detectors(click here for proper detector placement), combined with routine maintenance checks by qualified service technicians (mark them on your calendar).

If you have any questions about your furnace or boiler you can ask in the comments or give us a call and talk with one of our trained service technicians at 303-589-4428.  Ask us about available rebates for yearly check-ups.