You don't need to have a bunch of money or training to fix your furnace. By simply changing the furnace filter, and cleaning out the surrounding compartment and slot, you can ensure that your furnace is more functional in the long term. This simple maintenance might not drastically increase the productivity of your furnace, but it will probably prevent a number of possible problems that are very expensive to fix. For just $20, you can improve the functionality of your entire HVAC system:
Properly Replacing a Filter
Most people have never changed their furnace filter. Some might have had a professional like Crystal Coast Heating & Air LLC do it during a maintenance visit. Furthermore, some people who change their filter don't actually do it correctly. The job is very straightforward, but if you skip a few steps, your new filter won't be as effective as it should be.
The most comprehensive way to change your furnace filter is to remove the old one, then clean out the empty furnace slot before installing the new one. Most people skip this second step. This can create a couple of problems: First of all, if you don't clean out the empty furnace slot, there could be dirt and dust within the compartment that prevents you from properly installing the new filter. For instance, if there is dust buildup along the back edge, it might be impossible to push the furnace all the way in.
If this happens, air can blow past the filter and into the furnace pump without ever being clean. Furnace pumps suck in a lot of air when the AC and heat are running. If this air is not being filtered, the pump will get clogged quite quickly. This means the furnace has to work harder and use more power. The ultimate consequence is that you simultaneously notice increased bills and reduced efficiency of both your heater and air conditioner.
As mentioned, your air conditioner might not instantly show improved airflow when you replace the filter. But replacing the filter on a regular basis will definitely help with airflow issues and lengthen the lifespan of your furnace. If the furnace pump is not constantly getting dirty and needing to use extra electricity, your furnace will last longer and work better.
Since most furnace filters cost less than $20, and the rest of the work it's basically free, you can effectively maintain it for very cheap.