You depend on your furnace to keep your family safe and warm in the winter and rightly so. An efficient furnace can keep your home warm without wasting energy and doesn't pose a risk of harmful emissions that could threaten your family's health. But it doesn't do it all on its own. Your furnace needs routine maintenance to keep it working at peak performance. Fortunately, many of the tasks are so simple you can perform them on your own. Add a little help from your HVAC professionals to keep your furnace in tiptop shape. Follow these tips for giving your furnace the care it deserves.
Clean or Change Your Filters
If you can only do one thing to care for your furnace yourself, taking care of the filters should be it. Although the task is simple and may seem like something you can put off, a dirty or clogged filter can lead to several issues.
- Clogged Filters Restrict Airflow: This means your fan motor needs to work harder to perform its job. This can lead to a burned-out motor, an overheated furnace, or other equipment failures. An overworked fan motor also uses more energy, raising your utility bill.
- Clogged Filters Reduce Indoor Air Quality: This means you and your family are breathing dirty or contaminated air, which can trigger allergies, asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
Change disposable filters and wash permanent filters according to the manufacture's recommendations, typically once every three months. Keep in mind that recommendations are just that. You may need to change or clean your filters more often if you have pets, smoke in your home, or participate in hobbies, such as woodworking and sanding, that may cause excess dust in the air.
Keep Vents and Ductwork Clean
Cleaning your vents and ductwork will do wonders for both your air quality and the efficiency of your furnace. Use your vacuum cleaner to remove any dust or debris in the ductwork and wipe down vents and openings with a soft, damp cloth.
Consider a New Thermostat
If you are like a lot of people, you may find yourself adjusting the thermostat more often than you should. Although it is tempting to simply adjust it manually whenever you feel a chill, this really isn't a good idea for either your furnace or your wallet. Frequently adjusting the thermostat puts extra strain on your furnace, shortening its lifespan. It also causes the furnace to use more energy to get the job done, resulting in a higher utility bill for you.
A programmable thermostat is much more efficient and can keep your family comfortable throughout the day. There are many options available with a price range to fit any budget from simple zone thermostats that allow you to set daytime and nighttime temperatures to programmable smart thermostats compatible with your phone or other mobile devices. Talk to your HVAC dealer about your specific needs if you are unsure of which type of programmable thermostat is right for you.
Schedule Annual Maintenance
Don't forget to arrange for an HVAC professional to give your furnace a tuneup at least once a year, even if your unit appears to be functioning properly. A professional can identify and correct minor issues that could turn into a major breakdown if left unchecked.
Contact us today to discuss any concerns you may have or to schedule routine maintenance to avoid costly repairs from a breakdown.