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P.M. Tips for Gas Furnaces

Gas Furnace maintenance is essential to make sure it is running efficiently and safely. We’ll walk through some of the steps in a typical P.M. on a Gas Furnace.

It is also a good idea to locate a Carbon Monoxide Detector at or near the furnace to monitor its safety.

  1. The first step is to turn off the power and in this case, the fuel. There should be a switch near the furnace, if not, check the electrical service panel and shut off the appropriate breaker. The gas line will be connected to the furnace in a black pipe and will have a shut off valve nearby. Make sure to lock out and tag out both.
  2. Open the furnace door. With a shop vac, vacuum out the base of the furnace and the gas burners. Get all the crevices cleaned of any loose dust or debris. Check burner tubes to ensure they are open. Visually inspect all wires, safety devices (roll-out switch, fuse links, etc…) and connections, looking for burnt spots.
  3. The filter will need to be checked and possibly changed more often during the heating season. Replace it as part of your P.M. program.
  4. Just as on your car, fan belts wear and get loose. Check the fan belt on your furnace that drives the blower.
  5. Inspect the belt for glazing (bright, shiny spots), cracking or fraying. If any of those signs are evident, replace the belt. Also check the belt tension.
  6. You can do this by pushing down in the center of the belt, it should feel taut (slightly tight) and only move about 1/2? – 3/4?. If it moves more than that then tighten the belt by loosening the attachment bracket.
  7. Next move the motor assembly so the belt tightens. Next hold the motor assembly in place while maintaining tension on the belt. Lastly, tighten the attachment bracket.

*Note: If you have a direct drive motor, this set of steps won’t be necessary.*

If your furnace is older or if it has a motor without permanently sealed bearings, the bearings will need to be oiled.

  1. Find the oiling caps. They may also be on the bearing shaft.
  2. Drop a few drops of lightweight oil in the oil spout below the caps. Don’t over oil. Your MRO should sell the type of oil you need, just ask.
  3. Once completed, replace the furnace cover and turn the electrical power back on along with the gas.
  4. Relight the pilot if necessary.

These steps will help make your Gas Furnaces run better and last longer.