The Concise Furnace Maintenance Checklist

When the frost-bitten 15-degree lows of January want to put your furnace to the test, you want your heating system to be up to the task of keeping your home warm. However, many homeowners mistakenly believe their unit will always fire up on command.

While a new or recently refurbished system almost guarantees efficiency with little effort on your part, prevent setting it up for future failure with our furnace maintenance checklist. Whether you need reliable furnace maintenance or fast AC service in Wilmette, IL, A Custom Services can get the job done. Keep reading to learn what to look for when inspecting and maintaining your furnace.


A furnace uses filters to trap contaminants as they pass from your home into your system and vice versa. These air filters keep buildups from jamming your HVAC’s moving parts and deter allergens from entering the air and affecting your respiratory system.

However, leaving a used, dirty filter on for too long causes dust, dander, and other debris to build up on the mesh surface. With no place else to go, the contaminants rerelease into the air or flow back into your furnace, jeopardizing your family’s and furnace’s health.

Swap out or thoroughly clean your filters no less than once every three months. Depending on your air quality, consider replacing them sooner. For instance, if you have pets or live in a congested, smoggy city, replace them every two months. Residents with allergies should replace their filters monthly for the healthiest indoor air. 


The furnace burners are where the fuel meets the ignitor flame to create heat. As a result of this process, the burners undergo soot and carbon buildup that reduce their efficiency. A simple clog may cause the burners to produce little or no heat that won’t be enough to trigger the blower fan into dispersing the controlled air through your household vents.

To scratch “cleaning burners” off your annual furnace maintenance checklist, turn off the gas and power down your furnace. After removing the cover panel, vacuum around the burners and scrub the area around the flame sensors with a wire brush. If your burners have transition wings that allow the flame to travel between burners, thoroughly clean these channels with a damp cloth before reinstalling the cover panel. 


Your gas line consists of pipes that bring natural gas from an exterior supply system into your heating system. However, your piping quality heavily depends on its material, age, and how often you schedule preventative maintenance with a professional HVAC company.

When you allow an HVAC specialist to regularly check your gas lines as part of their professional furnace maintenance checklist, your piping system should last for decades. Still, keep an eye out for warning signs that indicate you may have a gas leak, such as a rotten egg or propane smell. Switch off your main valve, evacuate your home, and call an HVAC company and 911 immediately for the safety of your home and loved ones.


HVAC systems produce small amounts of carbon monoxide during proper operation. But if your heat exchanger cracks under the pressure of soot buildup or corrosion, carbon monoxide levels could quickly reach deadly levels. This odorless, colorless gas is toxic to humans and pets, so your home should have carbon monoxide detectors on every floor that alert you when levels are unsafe.

As part of your crucial furnace checklist, change the carbon monoxide detector and smoke detector batteries bi-yearly for optimal results. Remember to place your CO detector at least 15 feet away from your furnace and at a lower elevation than your smoke detector since carbon monoxide doesn’t rise as high as smoke. Replace the detectors every seven years to prevent loose connections and false readings that come with product aging. 


Since 1993, our family-owned and -operated business has served Wilmette, IL, as the city’s go-to HVAC service company. Our certified technicians work diligently to provide HVAC services and 24-hour emergency repairs, leading us to over 100 five-star reviews across Google and PulseM. So, trust our knowledgeable team and 30 years of experience with your heating and cooling systems year-round.

Learn tips on how to install new HVAC systems, from heat pumps to air conditioner units, and call A Custom Services in Wilmette, IL, at 773-207-7551 to schedule a free estimate. Put your system through a professional furnace maintenance checklist today!

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