Winter is hard on furnaces because of its string of chilly days that cause constant usage. Maintaining the integrity of your furnace system regularly reduces the likelihood of repairs and can significantly reduce your heating costs. Here are some suggestions on how to keep your furnace in good working order over the upcoming winter.
Get it Serviced
Similar to how cars need periodic maintenance, furnaces also need regular maintenance. Furnaces less than 10 years old should typically be maintained annually, while those 10 years or older should typically be serviced twice a year. During a service call, a skilled technician will look for wear on the blowers, ductwork, filter, and other parts.
If any, they will advise making the necessary repairs. If you skip furnace tune-ups, you could have to pay a few dollars to have your furnace serviced. However, routine maintenance visits are typically very inexpensive, and a little investment in preventative care might prevent you from replacing your furnace due to a malfunction.
Open All Vents
In the belief that not heating empty rooms will save them money and energy, homeowners commonly cover the heating vents in those spaces. But usually, this isn’t the case, and your furnace can even suffer as a result. Vents that are closed off prevent air from circulating through the heating system as intended, which causes pressure to build up inside the system. This pressure makes it more difficult for a furnace to circulate air through the system to the actual heating-required areas.
As a result, the furnace has to work harder to circulate the air, which reduces how warm the house is. An unexpected strain won’t harm a furnace permanently. However, closing the vents during the winter may strain the furnace and eventually cause problems since the furnace will consistently be working overtime.
Clean Air Ducts
The air ducts of your home’s heating system will often be checked during a service session, but they won’t typically be cleaned. Specialized equipment that can reach down the lengthy vents is needed to clean ducts. This equipment is typically available from HVAC service providers, although not necessarily on all of their vehicles.
Cleaning your home’s air ducts will eliminate dust that might accumulate in them if it has been a while since they were cleaned. By obstructing airflow, this dust can put an unneeded burden on the furnace in your house. The dust can also get inside your house, where it could exacerbate allergies, accumulate on things, and lead to asthma attacks.
Clean and Change the Filter
Furnaces do more than just heat homes; they also serve as whole-house air filters. Dust and other microscopic particles are caught in a filter inside a furnace when air travels past it. However, the filter is only useful if it is not clogged with particles. It has to be cleaned and replaced at regular intervals. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a filthy air filter can also raise energy usage by up to 15%.
Lower the Thermostat
Your home’s heating bills and the strain on your furnace can be decreased by lowering the thermostat. For every degree you decrease your thermostat, you should expect to save roughly 1% on heating expenses every eight hours. In addition to putting more money in your pocket, this decreases the burden on your furnace. You can help your furnace last longer by reducing the load on it. A furnace will survive longer if it isn’t overworked.
Stay Warm, Stay Comfy
We get that a broken furnace is the last thing you want. By following these preventative steps, you make every effort to extend the lifespan of your furnace. Do not overlook warning signs that your system needs an upgrade. While an upgrade can initially cost more, the long-term comfort and financial advantages might make it worthwhile.