Extending the life of your furnace is essential for heating your home in the most cost-effective and energy efficient manner. So, what is the best way to go about doing that? There are a number of different things you should be doing on a consistent basis to ensure that your furnace is always there when you need it.
Heating your home can be expensive and those costs can only rise when you fail to have your furnace maintained on a regular basis. HVAC companies recommend giving your furnace a professional check-up twice a year. That way you know you’re running at peak efficiency and you can diagnose potential issues early on so you’re paying less in repair costs.
That’s not to suggest that your furnace won’t experience some kind of malfunction or shut down during the course of its lifespan. Every furnace will probably have some sort of interruption at some point but you can drastically decrease the likelihood of that happening in the dead of winter by taking these steps for effectively extending the lifespan of your furnace. Most units typically last for around 10-15 years, you want to be sure you get the full value of your investment into your furnace.
Schedule Routine Maintenance
If you haven’t done it in a while, make an appointment asap. But otherwise, scheduling your routine maintenance should be done in the spring and the fall, this is to keep your furnace in peak shape to meet your heating demands and the resulting wear and tear that come with the coldest months of the year.
A six month tune up can be essential for keeping the furnace running at peak condition while also helping to keep you and your family safe from any carbon monoxide leaks, which is a common furnace malfunction.
If you don’t clean the furnace on a regular basis, it will break down. It’s just that simple. A furnace is like any other type of expensive complex equipment, fail to take care of it, it will die out quicker than you expect.
One of the reasons a lot of homeowners fail to clean their furnace is because they don’t know whether it’s clean or dirty. Fortunately, there’s a very simple way to figure that out, all you need to do is look at the flame of your burners. Specifically, the color of the flame. A blue flame means your furnace is clean and all is well. A yellow flame indicates that your burners are dirty and the furnace needs a good cleaning.
Whether you do this work yourself (and if you do, be VERY careful) or you hire a professional furnace technician to do the work for you (highly recommended), it’s up to you but be sure that you don’t allow the furnace to remain dirty for too long. Should you ultimately decide that you would rather do the work on your own, be sure you turn off the power and gas to the furnace before you do anything. Once you’ve done that, you will need to get out your vacuum and use it on the burners and the base.
Keep in mind this is delicate machinery you’re cleaning, so be mindful that you don’t damage anything.Your maintenance efforts to preserve the life of the furnace could end up with you needing an expert to come out and repair any damage that you’ve done by mistake.
Change Your Air Filter
This is an essential component of your HVAC system and without your air filter, the system and the furnace won’t be able to operate properly. The air filter is intended to pull out the pollutants and particles from the air so they aren’t recirculated through your home’s duct work and, more importantly, you and your family aren’t breathing them into your lungs.
When the filter is dirty it can also impede the necessary air flow into the system, causing it be less effective at its task of heating the home and forcing it to work longer and harder than normal. This can lead to higher levels of wear and tear on the system and your furnace in particular.
Check for Leaks
When your heated air can’t get to where it needs to go, your furnace is left to do more work. Again, overtaxing your furnace is a bad idea and so you want to check your ducts for any indications of leaks. Leaking air is going to make your furnace work over time and that won’t preserve the lifespan, it will shorten it.