If you own a furnace, there are some maintenance tips you can do to help prevent problems from happening. This will not only ensure you keep your home warm, but will also help your furnace run more efficiently. Before you do anything, turn off your furnace. You should find a switch somewhere near the furnace in order to do this.
Inspect the Flame
Turn the furnace on, and turn up your thermostat. This will cause the flame to come on. Inspect the flame to see what color it is. The color should be blue. If the flame is yellow, this indicates that the burners are dirty and need to be cleaned, or that the burners need to be adjusted.
You should not adjust or clean the burners on your own, but instead call a furnace repair professional to do this for you.
Clean the Furnace
Make sure you turn the gas off before you start cleaning. Use a vacuum with a hose to vacuum anywhere there is dust. You can look for soot by using a flashlight. Soot is a fine, black powder. If you see this, there is likely a problem with combustion.
Lift the blower door, which is the lower door on the furnace, and vacuum the compartment.
You can remove the blower to clean it. To do this remove the control panel that covers the blower. This control panel generally has a couple of screws. Once the panel is off, you will find that two bolts hold the blower in place. Remove these bolts, and lift the blower out gently. Use a small brush and a vacuum hose to remove dust from blower blades. Be careful when cleaning the fan blades as you can easily cause damage to them.
Inspect the Drive Belt for Damage
You also need to inspect the drive belt for any damage. This could be frayed or cracked areas in the belt. The belt goes through a lot of work because every time the furnace runs the belt drives the blowers to run.
If you see any damage replace the drive belt. You can purchase these belts at home supply stores, and they are very inexpensive. Refer to the user's manual that came with your furnace on how to properly remove and install a new drive belt.
Call in a professional if you do not feel comfortable doing these maintenance steps. The professional can also determine if there are any problems with the furnace and repair these for you also.