A new furnace is an expense most homeowners don’t want to deal with. Facing this dilemma in the middle of a Minnesota winter is an even scarier scenario. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and this couldn’t be more true than with furnace maintenance. Let’s take a look at the top eight ways to keep your furnace running longer before you need to have it replaced.
Don’t Delay if Your Furnace Needs a Repair
If your maintenance technician spots a problem, the best thing you can do is schedule the repair immediately. It doesn’t matter if it’s something as simple as a bad belt or a clogged line; the longer you wait to remediate the issue, the more likely it is to cause bigger problems down the line. This is a surefire way to ensure your furnace dies well before its time, so don’t risk it. Get your repairs done ASAP.
Have Your Seasonal Maintenance Done Every Year
Listen, we’ve all been there. You get to thinking, “My furnace is running just fine, there’s no need for me to have it looked over this year.” Then the furnace starts making strange noises … and before you know it, it’s dead. Preventative maintenance is the most important thing you can do to ensure your furnace lives a long, healthy life. A qualified HVAC technician will ensure your unit is clean and running in tip-top shape. A clean furnace is an efficient furnace, which will save you money in the long run and maintain high air quality in your home.
Seal Your Ducts and Keep Them Clean
On average, American homes lose about 30% of their climate-controlled air through faulty ducts. Over time, dust and debris will accumulate inside your ductwork. This makes your HVAC system less efficient and your furnace work harder, accelerating its untimely demise. Have your ducts cleaned and sealed regularly to keep your furnace running smoothly, and to improve the air quality in your home.
Keep Your Air Filters Clean
The air filter for your furnace is designed to keep it clean and free of debris. Over time, your filter will need to be replaced because dust and grime have built up inside it. This is typically an inexpensive maintenance procedure that can add years to your furnace’s life if done regularly. As a rule of thumb, if you cannot see light through your filter, it’s time to change it.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
If you work outside the home and are gone for eight to ten hours per day, your furnace may be working overtime when it doesn’t have to. Your home is being heated during this time for no reason, and it’s costing you extra money in your monthly energy bills. You can always turn the heat down when you leave, but how many times are you in a rush to get to work and you simply forget? A programmable thermostat fixes this issue, and turns your heat down automatically when you’re away. You’ll be amazed how much money you’ll save just by turning the furnace down while you’re at work or out of the home.
Pick a Temperature and Stick With It
We understand that sometimes it’s hard to find the perfect temperature that’s not too hot or too cold. But listen, Goldilocks: the more you fuss with the temperature setting, the more your furnace has to work. This adds unnecessary wear and tear! You should do your best to set a temperature and leave it for no less than eight hours every day. Furnaces will lock out if you change the thermostat too many times in an hour.
One of the easiest things you can do to reduce the load on your furnace is to get your home’s insulation in shape. One area to focus on is your attic. Heat flows upward, which makes the topmost floor the biggest area of heat loss in your home. To keep heat inside your home where it belongs, make sure your attic is properly insulated. This will reduce the workload on your furnace while keeping your home nice and toasty this winter.
Run the Fans the Right Way
Have you ever noticed that little switch on the side of your ceiling fan motor and wondered what it is for? It controls the direction your fan blades rotate – and during winter, you want them going counterclockwise. That helps distribute heat more effectively throughout your home, reducing the load on your furnace. Some studies indicate that fans rotating counterclockwise can help reduce overall heating costs upwards of 15% each winter.
Keeping your furnace in tip-top shape can help it last for 30 years or more. By following the steps in this guide, you’ll help extend its lifespan and avoid unnecessary repairs. Contact Gilk Plumbing, Heating & A/C today to book routine furnace inspection or get repair work scheduled before the temperature starts to drop this winter. We’re your solution for professional HVAC services in Albany, Avon, Cold Spring, Eden Valley, Freeport, Kimball, Lake Henry, Paynesville, Richmond, Rockville, St. Joseph and Watkins, Minnesota!