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Which Furnace Maintenance Tasks Should Be Left to the Pros?

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If you like saving money and take personal satisfaction in a job well done, then chances are you're handling your own furnace maintenance. While there's plenty you can do to keep your furnace in great shape, some maintenance tasks are too complex or too dangerous to on your own; that's where an experienced HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) technician comes in.

1. Burner Cleaning and Repair

Your furnace's burners are responsible for turning fuel and air into fire. This process provides the heat your furnace eventually distributes throughout your home. As time goes on, the burners can suffer any number of problems, including rust and corrosion formation due to moisture buildup, physical cracks caused by metal fatigue, and clogs caused by soot and debris buildup.

The burners are a surprisingly complex piece of equipment, which makes it difficult to inspect and clean them without causing any further damage. Instead, let an HVAC company, such as Boyers  R S Heating &  Air Conditioning Inc, check and clean the burners on your behalf. The technician can also tell if the burners are at the end of their life cycle and need to be replaced.

2. Heat Exchanger Inspection and Replacement

The heat exchanger is nestled deep within the heart of your furnace. As hot exhaust gases created by the burner pass through the heat exchanger's plumbing, an air current passes through the exchanger, carrying the heat away from the exchanger and into the ductwork. Some furnaces feature a secondary heat exchanger that extracts even more heat from the exhaust stream for more efficient heating.

Inspecting the heat exchanger is not only difficult due to its location, but also potentially dangerous due to the toxic and life-threatening gases that are trapped within. You're better off leaving this service in the hands of an experienced professional.

3. Gas Line Repairs

In its natural state, natural gas is odorless, tasteless, and practically invisible to the naked eye. For these reasons, gas companies add mercaptan to their natural gas supplies to detect leaks by odor. Natural gas is also highly flammable, requiring only a slight spark to set off an explosion. These attributes are enough to make any repair involving furnace gas lines a no-go for the average "do-it-yourselfer."

4. Chimney/Flue Cleaning

After circulating through the heat exchanger, exhaust gases make their way out of the furnace through the flue or chimney. Keeping your exhaust outlets in good shape is essential since blockages can cause poisonous gases to leak back into your home's living spaces.

Your HVAC technician is better prepared to deal with a flue or chimney problem due to their years of experience and the equipment they use.