Construction

Simple maintenance avoids complex problems

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Keeping your furnace and air-conditioner well maintained, will help keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Annual inspections and cleanings for both systems can catch or prevent problems before the systems shut down.

Professional heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) experts can perform routine maintenance in about an hour. Handy homeowners can perform extra seasonal maintenance to keep their equipment running well.

Experts advise vacuuming out the area around the furnace’s blower. “If possible, slide out the fan unit, clean each fan blade with a toothbrush, and then vacuum with a brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner. Look for oil ports on the motor, normally located near the motor shaft. Apply two to three drops of non-detergent motor oil into each port. Most contemporary motors don’t require lubrication, but motors with oil ports should be lubricated twice a year,” explains HomeTips.com.

If that sounds too complicated or time-consuming, experts are available to help. Experts are critical when gas leaks are suspected. Many furnaces are powered with natural gas. If any connections loosen or old tubing cracks, leaks may result. If you smell natural gas in your home or near your furnace, do not light any matches or turn off or on any switches. If the gas odor is strong, immediately evacuate your house, leaving the door open. Call your gas utility company or the fire department from a remote location,” advises HomeTips.

Routine maintenance keeps equipment and systems running well, but breakdowns may still occur. Sometimes simple fixes are all that’s needed. According to HomeTips, if your furnace seems to be malfunctioning: make sure the thermostat is set correctly; make sure the heating registers are open; check or change any dirty filters; and make sure the furnace’s power switch is turned on. It’s traditionally located next to or inside the furnace cabinet.

For more information, contact Dowe & Wagner, a full-service heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning company at (815) 678-3000, or visitwww.doweandwagner.com

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