There are many handy homeowners in Massachusetts with a can-do attitude. They take pride in their home, and they want to be the one who maintains it properly. When it comes to furnace maintenance, there are things that you can tackle yourself, but there are other tasks that are best left to the professionals.

Whether you have an oil furnace or a gas furnace, a certified expert (usually the same company that installed your furnace) should perform an annual inspection of your equipment. Our qualified HVAC technicians can provide you with information about the current status of your gas or oil furnace, and they can provide any furnace repair services that you need.

Here are DIY furnace maintenance projects that you can take on between annual inspections:

Change Your Air Filter Monthly

Your air filter is a seemingly small part of your entire heating system, but it plays a pivotal role. This thin filter is what helps purify the air that is circulated throughout your home and through your heating system. It traps dust, dirt, debris, and dander, and overtime these by-products build up on the air filter. If your filter is not changed regularly, then the air in your home will not be as clean and your furnace may begin to have problems that require repairs.

The air filter should be changed monthly, especially during the cold winter months when your furnace is running frequently. Homeowners can quickly and easily change the air filter themselves. Air filters can be purchased through your heating and cooling company or at many local hardware stores. If you need help or assistance, feel free to call a qualified HVAC professional to get the information you need before you change the filter out.

Check the Pilot Light

If you find yourself in a chilly home on a cold winter’s day in Massachusetts, your first thought might be that your furnace is not working. In reality, for many homeowners, the fact is that the pilot light has just gone out. If you have a gas furnace or an oil furnace, you will have a pilot light that keeps your furnace operating. Some of the newer models have an electric pilot light versus an actual flame.

Homeowners may want to check the pilot light before they call an HVAC technician to perform a repair. It may be easy enough to address the issue and get the pilot lit again, but if the pilot light is out you may want to put in a call to a professional. A qualified HVAC technician will not only be able to get the pilot light lit again, but the technician also will evaluate the area surrounding the light and make sure that nothing else needs to be done. In some cases, the pilot button may need repairs or the flame may need to be adjusted.

Clean Your Floor Vents

One of the simplest DIY furnace maintenance projects that you can do is to clean your floor vents. Throughout the year, plenty of dirt and dust — and maybe even a few toys or random objects — will end up in your floor vents. Inspect them on a monthly basis, and remove anything that should not be down the vents. In addition, take your vacuum and clean up the dust that has collected in the vents.

Cover Your Central Air Condenser during the Winter Months

Many homes in Massachusetts that have a furnace also have central air conditioning in their homes. What many don’t realize, however, is that the AC condenser that lives outside your home should be covered during the winter, with the exception of heat pumps. The harsh winter weather could cause wear and tear on your unit unless it is properly covered from snow and ice. Plywood weighted down with bricks does a good job of protecting your air conditioner condenser in winter. Covering your AC condenser is an easy, inexpensive way to help keep your system running for many years.

These are a few simple tasks that you can and should do regularly. When you invest the time and energy into caring for your oil furnace or gas furnace properly, you will prevent major repair issues in the future and ultimately extend the lifespan of your HVAC equipment.

In addition to these DIY furnace projects, you also will want to partner with the best professionals in the area to keep your furnace in the best condition possible. At HomeWorks Energy, we offer a Premier Maintenance package that includes an annual inspection and also waives all labor fees in the event that your furnace breaks down. It’s a worthwhile investment that will save you both time and money in the future.

For more information about our Premier Maintenance package and to learn about replacing your furnace, contact us at HomeWorks Energy today.