Many homeowners choose to heat their homes with a furnace. This is due to the fact that there are many benefits of heating a home this way. Some of these benefits include affordability, energy efficiency, easy installation, and reliability. One more benefit of a furnace is that it is a safe way to heat the home. Keeping up with proper furnace maintenance helps to optimize these benefits.

Here are three essential tips for furnace maintenance.

1. Replace Your Filter on a Regular Basis

Your furnace filter helps remove pet dander, dust, pollen, and other particulates from the air inside your home. When a filter isn't changed, it decreases the air quality inside your home. A dirty filter also impedes airflow. When this happens, your furnace won't work as it should. It will also work harder, which decreases energy efficiency. For these reasons, it's important to clean or replace your filter on a regular basis.

How often you change it depends on the size. For example, a filter that is 1 to 2 inches should be changed every 3 months. Filters that are five inches should be changed every 12 months. Of course, these are simply guidelines. You should also change your air filter if it's dirty.

2. Ensure the Blower Motor Is Functioning Correctly

The blower motor in your furnace is what circulates the air inside your home. The blower motor also ensures warm air is flowing through the vents. Because the blower motor is such an important part of your furnace, you should ensure it is functioning correctly. Here are some signs that your blower motor might be going bad:

  • The furnace makes unusual noises
  • There is an unusual odor when the furnace is turned on
  • The furnace keeps turning off on its own

If you notice any of these signs, you may need your blower motor repaired or replaced.

3. Move Any Flammable Objects Away from the Furnace 

Most homeowners keep their furnace in a basement or inside a closet. No matter where it's located, you should always make sure there are no flammable objects near it. This is a fire hazard, and it could cause serious damage to your furnace and your home. Some examples of flammable objects that you should keep away from your furnace include:

  • Clothes
  • Paint
  • Boxes

Along with moving flammable objects away from the furnace, you should also make sure there is nothing covering your vents. In order to produce adequate airflow to heat the home, never place furniture, boxes, or other household items over your vents.