You probably don't think twice about your home furnace when it's working properly. However, when your furnace acts up during the wintertime, it immediately becomes one of the most pressing problems in your life. Maintaining your furnace consistently will keep you warm in the wintertime, while the temperatures are plummeting. The tips below will teach you the most important types of furnace maintenance to consider. 

#1: Handle your furnace's pre-season checklist so that it's taken care of before you run it

There are some rules of thumb you should understand when you want your furnace to work in the wintertime. Changing your furnace filters will help you more than almost anything else. 

Check out the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of any filters that you decide to purchase. These filters have MERV ratings between 1 and 12. When you swap out your filters, you'll be able to appreciate cleaner air in your household, so that you can breathe freely and avoid respiratory problems. Changing your filters in a timely fashion will add longevity to your furnace while lowering the total cost of ownership (TCO). 

Some other steps for pre-season furnace maintenance include turning on and testing the thermostat, checking the igniter switch, testing your carbon monoxide monitor, and making sure that your chimney is clean. 

#2: Take care of the heat exchanger and blower motor

Your furnace heat exchanger is a critical piece that you need to take care of. This part is crucial because it routes the air from your furnace so that the air you breathe doesn't get mixed in with combustible fumes. A working heat exchanger is essential for managing your furnace and keeping the people in your home safe. The blower motor is equally important since it forces the air throughout your home. 

After several uses, both your heat exchanger and blower are susceptible to corrosion damage. Get this checked regularly, and have a furnace professional apply an anti-corrosion solution, if necessary. This is crucial because corrosion is the root cause of 40% of all industrial equipment problems. 

#3: Make sure that your ventilation system is clean and in good condition

Finally, clean your air ducts regularly to get the best performance from your furnace. This allows your furnace to work at its peak without struggling to run correctly. According to national averages, cleaning out your furnace air ducts will cost you $373, and the prices are likely to range between $269 and $486. Consider this an investment, since you're more likely to get productive years from your furnace when you stay on top of this. 

Start with these three tips and contact a professional that can assist you with any furnace maintenance that you need.