When the temperatures drop down below freezing during the winter months, the last thing that you want is to have problems with your home's gas furnace. While some issues are hard to predict, there are a couple of things you can do to keep an eye on the furnace to find potential problems before they get out of hand.
1. Check the Exterior Components on the Furnace to Make Sure They Are Tight
One thing that you can do when keeping an eye on your gas furnace is to periodically check the components that are attached to the unit's exterior. These components include the ducts going into and out of the furnace, the vent pipe, and the gas line.
When checking the ducts, look around the edges to make sure that there are no gaps. If you do discover any, this means that not all of the hot air is reaching your home and is being wasted. You can seal these up with duct tape.
For the vent pipe, look for gaps as well, but also check to see if it is sturdy by jiggling it while the furnace is off. If the pipe is loose, you may need to have someone either tighten or replace it.
For the gas line, place your nose close to the connection between it and the furnace. If you smell a rotten-egg odor, there may be a small gas leak. For this, you need to have a professional come in and fix it.
2. Inspect the Pilot Light for Changes in Color and Size
Another thing you can do while examining your furnace is to inspect the pilot light for changes in color and size. If the flame seems lower than usual, there may be a clog in the line that will need to be cleaned out by a maintenance service.
If you notice any changes to the color, such as it turning yellow, this means that not all of the gas is being burned off, and the flame is releasing carbon monoxide. There could be a problem with the thermocouple or a clogged gas line. You would need a professional to determine the issue to fix it.
Performing the basic inspection every few weeks during the winter season can help you pinpoint potential problems before they cause major issues. However, there is more to keeping your gas furnace up and running for which you would need a professional. Contact an HVAC contractor who provides heating maintenance services to discuss your options for setting up an appointment for an initial service call.