When you’ve owned your furnace for a few years, it’s easy to fall into the trap of taking its health for granted. If everything’s working properly, you may mistakenly think that will be the case for many years. However, if you aren’t proactive about taking good care of it, your heating system may start to deteriorate far sooner than you expect. If you aren’t careful, you may find yourself choosing between having no heat or paying a massive installation bill. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. With the right habits and a few prudent measures, you can ensure that your furnace remains healthy, efficient, and effective for as long as possible.
Don’t Neglect Your Ducts or Vents
For your furnace to smoothly circulate air without issue, it needs clean, clear pathways around your home. Your air ducts and vents represent these pathways, but they’re susceptible to leaks and the accumulation of contaminants. If enough dust and random debris build up in these spaces, it causes clogs that obstruct your heating system’s performance. If that’s a constant in your household, it will gradually shorten the lifespan of your furnace.
Fortunately, your local duct professionals can provide a thorough cleaning in only one visit, and you’ll enjoy all the following benefits:
- Better furnace health
- Better air quality
- Mold and mildew prevention
- Reduced odors
- Fewer allergens
Leaky ducts can be even more problematic. When you have cracks, tears, and loose-fitting joints around your ductwork, a large percentage of your heated air will escape. For you to remain comfortable, your furnace must put in extra work to compensate for the loss. Whenever that’s happening, it’s putting extra stress on the equipment. Plus, duct leaks can cause uneven temperatures and worsened air quality. When you have your ducts cleaned, the technician can inspect for any damage too.
Never Skip Maintenance
If you’ve neglected furnace maintenance in the past, it’s never too late to change your routine, and our technicians at Satterlee Plumbing, HVAC, and Mechanical Contractors would love to help. When we send a heating expert to give your furnace a tune-up, they’ll clean the appliance from top to bottom to improve its performance. If you schedule this service each year, you’ll consistently see better results from your furnace in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. Smoother operation means a longer lifespan for the heating system.
The other main benefit of maintenance is having expert eyes inspect your furnace. If your appliance shows early indications of a breakdown or a malfunction, you may not realize it, but an experienced technician will. In many cases, catching a furnace issue early can be the difference between a quick, easy repair and a very expensive one.
Stop Wasting Heat
The less your furnace must work, the longer it should last. When you waste heat and rely on your heating system to make up for it, you may be directly shortening its life expectancy. Heat gets wasted in many ways. One common way you put extra pressure on your furnace is by letting heat escape the house.
Installing attic insulation is a great place to start for preventing escaped heat. Hot air naturally rises, and roofing typically isn’t the most reliable for preventing leakage, especially if your roof is worn down or damaged. If you add insulation, such as spray foam or fiberglass insulation, to your attic, you’ll have a barrier that prevents much of that warmth from leaving.
Leaks around the edges of your doorways, windows, and garage doors allow lots of heat to escape as well. Inspect your home for these openings each month, and use caulk and weather stripping from the local hardware store to close them up. Warm air can also seep out through the windows themselves, so remember to close your home’s curtains in the evening and when it’s cold out.
Replace Your Furnace’s Filter
Your home’s HVAC air filter plays a crucial role in keeping your furnace clean and running efficiently. Contaminant particles are floating around your household, and that filter catches most of them before they get sucked into your heating system’s circulation. Each filter only has so much space, though, and once yours becomes overly packed with dust and dirt, the furnace’s performance starts to suffer. Energy efficiency will decline, the chances of a breakdown will increase, and you’ll lose control over your home’s climate.
Luckily, all you need to do to prevent those issues is check the filter each month. Cleaning it out will help, but the safe move is to always to switch it out for a new one.
Invest in a Space Heater
Do you find yourself spending most of your time in one or two areas of your house? If you do, you may be able to save some money and to take some pressure off your furnace by purchasing a space heater. For example, if you’re spending lots of your time in the living room, having the thermostat cranked up for the entire house wastes heat. However, if you set up a space heater in that room, you’ll use far less energy and reduce wear on your furnace.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Forgetting to turn off your heater when you leave for work, go to sleep, or no longer need the added heat can add up over time and can wear down your furnace. However, you can eliminate these instances with a programmable thermostat. These specialized thermostats can be programmed to automatically power down at specific times and when the home reaches a certain temperature. You can’t always avoid putting mileage on your furnace, but you can at least ensure that it isn’t running unnecessarily.
Purchase a Humidifier
You may notice that during winter, the air in your house feels drier. That’s common, and due to that lack of moisture, it makes your home feel colder than it would with greater humidity. As a result, you end up relying on your heating system even more during the cold season than you should need to.
Humidifiers restore a higher humidity level to your indoor air. Some humidifiers are attached to your HVAC system, and others will be an entirely separate unit. In addition to reducing the dependence on your furnace, adding moisture to the air will allow healthier breathing and more comfortable skin.
Local Heating Professionals You Can Trust
Since way back in 1892, we at Satterlee Plumbing, HVAC, and Mechanical Contractors have provided reliable HVAC services to the Joplin, MO area. We care about your home comfort in all respects. We proudly offer quality heating, cooling, and air purification services. Our exceptional customer service and craftsmanship have made us the leading HVAC and plumbing company in our area for over a century. We also pride ourselves in supporting our community; we support Little League, youth sports, and Young Life, and we’re dedicated to giving back to our area.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at Satterlee Plumbing, HVAC, and Mechanical Contractors today.