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Everything you need to Know about Fall Furnace Maintenance

Winter is coming… and that means it’s time to check your furnace. There’s nothing worse than a faulty furnace when you need it most. You should get your furnace maintained annually by a furnace maintenance professional to ensure that it is in good working order. Regularly serviced furnaces run at maximum efficiency which saves you money and increases the longevity of your appliance.

You don’t need special tools, but if you need to grab a few things to fill out your toolbox, check out this tool reviewer.

You can maintain your own furnace with this DIY furnace maintenance guide, but be on the lookout for warning signs that something may be amiss.


Any strange sounds emanating from your furnace indicates a problem. If your burner is huffing or banging, it could be delayed ignition problems. A bumping sound typically means that your belt is damaged.

Carbon Monoxide

One of the biggest issues with indoor heating is carbon monoxide build-up. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas which is a product of combustion. Normally, it dissipates and poses no threat but, if your furnace’s burning chamber is deprived of oxygen, it can start building up and risk the health of home occupants.

The furnace’s combustion chamber needs oxygen to burn properly. Make sure that the air intake is not obstructed and install carbon monoxide detectors. Naturally, regular furnace checkups will prevent any serious problems.

Dusty Smell

If you get a dusty smell a few minutes after turning on your furnace, there are a few possible causes. If the dusty smell dissipates after a few minutes, the furnace was just burning off the dust which built up inside it. However, if the smell persists, contact a technician.

Change or clean your filters regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions to maintain healthy indoor air and improve the efficiency of your heating system.

Rust Flakes

Rust flakes are a natural byproduct of gas combustion in a furnace. When you combine the CO2 and water vapor inside a metal chamber, rust forms fairly easily. A buildup of rust flakes can affect the effectiveness of your furnace.

You can clean the rust from the part of the furnace you have access to, but for a detailed cleaning, ask your technician to do it during annual maintenance. The technician can take the burners out and give them a thorough cleaning.


Back-drafting is caused by negative pressure. If the air is escaping from the burning chamber faster than it is fed in through the air intakes, you effectively choke the flame. In this situation, the air rushes into the chamber from the chimney, creating a back draft. This disrupts the normal ventilation flow.

Yellow Flame

Your furnace flame should be blue and constant, with as few impurities as possible. If your flame is yellow or orange, it’s an indication that there’s dirt in your combustion chamber which is preventing proper gas combustion. You need to have the furnace cleaned before it can continue operating at full potential.


Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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