How to Maintain a Residential Natural Gas Furnace
Failure to change your furnace filter on a regular basis will lower the quality of the air in your home and shorten the life of your furnace. If you have a central air conditioner the cooling coil will get blocked by unfiltered dust and debris over time and will result in a costly cleaning, repair or replacement of part or all of your heating and air conditioning system.
CAUTION Furnaces contain moving parts ,low voltage(24 Volt) and high voltage(120-240 Volt) electrical circuits and use FLAMMABLE hydrocarbon fuels(natural gas, fuel oil, propane) which is why it is critical to disconnect the power to your furnace. Exercise great caution when opening up your furnace by making sure the power is disconnected, the blower has stopped moving, and the burners and ignitor are off before doing any maintenance on your furnace.
If you do not feel comfortable doing anything with your furnace, even changing the filter, please call a qualified, reputable, certified heating and air conditioning service company to work on your furnace.
EXPLOSION DANGER! If you smell gas while around your furnace or in your home don’t use any electrical device(switches, cell phones, computers, appliances, etc. ) and get everyone out of the house! If it is handy use a crescent wrench to turn off the gas to your house at the gas meter outside and call the gas company and/or emergency services(911) at a neighbors house, don’t even use your cell phone near your home.
FIRE AND EXPLOSION DANGER! Never store flammable materials(wood, cardboard, paper), flammable liquids(gasoline, solvents), cleaning solutions or powders in the same room as your furnace or water heater as these things would be sources of combustion or fumes emitted by chemicals stored in your mechanical room could cause damage to the heat exchange in your furnace or water heater if they do not have direct fresh air supply from the outside of your home.
  CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING! If you or any or all of your family experience nausea, head aches, vomiting, or shortness of breath for no apparent reason get everyone out of the house and call emergency services and the gas company and DO NOT go back into your home until it has been checked out and cleared by licensed, certified and properly equipped professionals. You may be experiencing Carbon Monoxide poisoning due to a leak in the heat exchanger of your furnace or back drafting of the flue vent on your furnace or water heater.
Things You’ll Need Edit
Depending on the installation and type of furnace you have in your home you may need a flat head, Phillips, or 1 ⁄4 inch (0.6 cm) hex screwdriver to access your filter. In most cases the filter is accessed by a sliding sheet metal door or a door that is fastened by thumb screws or latches or simply opened by lifting and removing the panel(usually on the furnace).