Replace or clean your furnace filter. You should replace or clean your furnace filter(s) three or four times yearly. This is a quick, easy job every homeowner or tenant can do. A new filter makes your furnace more energy-efficient and saves money, too.
A furnace that is not running at peak performance can be deadly. Carbon Monoxide is a natural product of incomplete combustion. Virtually every gas furnace produces some Carbon Monoxide, which is usually carried away from your home through the furnace's venting. A clean, efficiently burning gas furnace produces very small amounts of carbon monoxide, while a dirty, inefficiently burning one can produce deadly amounts. Carbon Monoxide is odourless and colorless. It causes flu-like symptoms, disorientation, confusion, and even death.
It is highly recommended that you have your furnace cleaned and checked every year. The older the furnace, the more important this service is. Newer gas furnaces are equipped with many features that shut the furnace off when a problem is detected. Older furnaces have no such devices. Over time, furnaces can develop small cracks in the combustion chamber. These cracks may not be visible to the naked eye. It is through these cracks that Carbon Monoxide can leak into your home.
It is also important to change your furnace filter regularly. The filter usually is found just inside the front cover of the furnace. It may have its own access door on the front of the furnace. A clean filter will help your furnace burn more efficiently, and will help keep dust from being circulated through your home.
Keep the area around your furnace clean and unobstructed.
Keep the burner area of your furnace clean.
Furnaces that require lubrication on the motors and bearings should be attended to by a qualified heating technician once a year.
Do not have anything combustible within six inches of your vent pipe.
Do not close off more than 20% of the registers in your house. This can cause high resistance and unnecessary heat build up in the furnace.
Do not store combustible material such as paint thinners, gasoline, etc. near your furnace.