It's typically recommended that homeowners have their furnaces checked by a professional every year, or as often as recommended by the manufacturer. This will ensure that leaking covers are addressed as soon as possible and that there are not gas leaks or anything else that is dangerous or that can be causing your furnace to run inefficiently. However, there are a few things you can do as well to maintain your furnace and the ducted heating system overall, in addition to this maintenance call. Note a few of those things here and discuss them with a heating and cooling contractor if you need more assistance or have more questions about the system.

Professional cleaning of ducts and vents

You might vacuum the front of your home's vents and even remove them to vacuum the ductwork right behind them, but this isn't a substitute for a professional cleaning. A professional will be able to use long vacuum hoses that clean all the ductwork, not just the areas behind vents, or will be able to use high-powered suction that cleans the vents all the way back to the furnace. They may also add an antibacterial agent that kills germs and bacteria as well as any developing mold and mildew in the vents. This allows your furnace to work easier since it doesn't need to push air so forcefully through dirty vents. 

In addition, a professional vent cleaner can check for leaking ducts and loose connectors. This too will mean that you won't be losing warm air through the ductwork in your home so your furnace doesn't work as hard to maintain your set temperature.

Clean the blower

You can clean the blower of the furnace yourself by switching off the circuit and then removing the front panel. Use a vacuum hose brush attachment and remove any built-up dust and other debris. This will allow the blower to work more readily in order to circulate warm air, without all that dust slowing it down.

Check the flue

A furnace should have a flue, meaning a vent that goes to the outside of your home. Check this flue to ensure it is not blocked or obstructed. You also want to check for gaps or dents in the flue itself; if there are gaps, this is letting cold air into the home. The furnace then needs to work harder to maintain a proper temperature. If you're not sure of where the flue is located or if it's in good repair, have your contractor examine it the next time you call for regular maintenance of your furnace.