Before performing DIY furnace maintenance, Richard makes sure to switch off the electrical power and the fuel supply. The distinctive red power switchplate can usually be found at the top of the cellar stairs or near the burner itself, while the fuel shutoff valve is near the oil tank or on the incoming gas pipe. Note the location of both in case of a future leak or fire.
• If your furnace is inside the house, it may be located in an area that is magnifying the sound it makes – such as under a staircase. Often moving the furnace to another part of the house can reduce that noise. You may find that it’s in an area that was previously occupied by another older type of furnace, and you never heard those sounds from that one. Please keep in mind that modern furnaces are built differently – with multiple speeds and stages – which may create different sounds and require more airflow than your old ductwork has available. If the furnace doesn’t get enough air, it gets cranky.
Our goal is to make you more comfortable in your home. When your furnace, central air conditioner, heat pump or boiler stops working and you need service, call the professionals at BGE HOME. Heating and cooling system breakdowns occur at the most inconvenient times, so rely on our certified, skilled technicians to make the repair quickly and correctly the first time.
After an HVAC professional services the furnace, there are a few steps homeowners can take to keep it running smoothly. Most importantly, perhaps, is changing the air filter regularly, at least every three months, according to Energy Star, which is a branch of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A clogged air filter will restrict air flow, which can also negatively affect your health through exposure to environmental contaminates.
The thermocouple is a copper rod that the pilot flame heats-up. When it gets hot enough, the thermocouple signals that there is enough heat to burn the gas fuel being released into the appliance—and so it allows the gas to be released to the burners. In some cases where the pilot light won’t stay lit, the thermocouple needs to be adjusted or replaced. This is generally a job for a professional.
Great article! I am having trouble identifying what to use for the aluminum or zinc strips to prevent organic growth and staining. How wide are the strips? Are they predrilled? I am starting to see black stains on the north facing asphalt shingles. Do you recommend treating that befor adding the metal strips? If so, 50/50 bleach and water or a commercial product?

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