My favorite memory of my dad and my son revolve around furnace maintenance.  Isn’t that an odd favorite memory?  It’s true though.  My dad was fixing his furnace, as he seemed to do at least one a season, and my son went over and started to tinker with him and hand him tools. Then it happened, frustration.  Thankfully my dad was able to control it when he saw those two eyes peering up at him.

Have you ever felt such frustration when your furnace decides to stop working in the middle of the winter on an incredibly bitter day?  This article can help you avoid frustration by teaching you some basic maintenance techniques that can help stage off aggravation and help to minimize problems that are unexpected.  Although it is best to schedule a professional furnace tune up once a year with a technician the following do it yourself tips help ward off the expensive furnace melt down that is inevitable otherwise.

The first tip whenever doing work on your own furnace without professional assistance is to make sure the power is completely shut off to the furnace.  This ensures the motor does not start while you are tinkering on the furnace.  There are things such as changing the filter that can be done without turning off the furnace however most other maintenance requires caution.  On top of turning off the power it is smart to turn off the fuel supply as well be it gas or oil that your furnace runs off of.  Before you do these steps however make sure you know how to relight the pilot light.  If you don’t know how to do this and you do turn off the power supply you will find yourself calling in the professionals so you won’t have saved yourself any money.

One quick do it yourself tip that will instantly save you money and save energy is by replacing an old model thermostat with a new programmable digital thermostat.  With this type of model thermostat you will be able to program it so that the temperature automatically adjusts the temperature of your home to keep you comfortable when you are there and save money when you are not.

At the very minimum homeowners should change their furnaces air filters in any forced air furnace monthly.  Purchasing a high quality thermostat should allow you a feature to remind you when should change the filter.  It will not matter on the quality of furnace filter chosen to use as long as you remember to regularly change it.  The filter you chose should be based upon the sensitivity to air-borne particles of the members in your family.  If you have pets consider a higher quality filter to help keep down the dander and hair in the air.  You should vacuum the blower and accessible areas of the furnace as well.  Dust will accumulate on the blades of the blower. With regular vacuuming this should be alleviated.

With a regularly schedule furnace tune ups from professionals and these regular maintenance tips you should help yourself avoid many common issues that can arise from maintenance not being kept up on.  It is the same as with a car, professionals do the big stuff but we as the car’s owners keep up on oil changes, washer solvent and tire rotations.  It is a combination of the things professional and homeowners bring to the table that will keep your furnace running smooth.