Does keeping your furnace functioning and efficient require maintenance?
With Winter weather coming, now is the time to take a look at how you are going to stay warm, while the temps drop outside. There are a number of things you can do to stop heat loss; add insulation, external caulking, and weather stripping. But the most important factor in your home is the furnace.
Scheduling a heating system service visit should ensure that your system will be ready when the weather turns frigid. Your furnace check-up should include the following (the tech will do these for you):
- Inspect thermostat for proper operation
- Inspect filter and change or clean as needed
- Check all electrical components and controls
- Inspect heat exchanger for possible cracks. A crack in the heat exchanger allows carbon monoxide into the living space.
- Check air flow, if diminished, it may be necessary to clean the evaporator coil.
- Troubleshooting any other problems.
There are a couple of things to do first:
- Before turning on your furnace, check to make sure nothing flammable has been stored next to the furnace over the summer. It is not likely to have happened, but lawn mowers, gas cans …could be stacked against the furnace if the area is used for storage*.
- Next run your heater for a few minutes, before you need it (I know, how many of us have ever done that?). If you wait until the first cold morning to discover is isn’t working, you may have to wait before a heating and air specialist can come fix it.
Change Your Filters
You have heard this before and we know – no one really likes to do it, but to extend the life of your furnace and ensure optimal efficiency, change the filters regularly. Dirty filters restrict air flow, reducing efficiency and worse case, can cause the heat exchanger to overheat. Disposable fiberglass filters should be replaced. Electrostatic or electronic filters need to be washed regularly.
New Furnace Replacement
You may be at the point that your furnace is too old and does not have many more years of service left, (and even if it did) you can be sure that a new, high efficiency model will save you money in the long run because of its design. There are substantial efficiency gains available with a new furnace these days, especially with the volatile nature of energy prices.
In the end, maintaining your furnace, will keep you from having more expensive repair costs and reduce your utility bills.