How to Expand Your Furnace’s Life Span
A furnace is a big purchase, so it makes sense to want to keep your system for as long as possible. In addition to saving money, using the same furnace for a longer amount of time is often more convenient and environmentally friendly. How can you make sure your furnace lasts for years? Check out these tips to find ways of extending the life expectancy of your furnace.
Change Your Air Filters Regularly
Taking the time to swap out your furnace’s air filter is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do. Your air filter is essential to keeping your system operating correctly. It filters out dust, hair, and other grime before the air cycles through your device. This ensures that all the dirt cannot build up inside the furnace and damage delicate internal parts.
However, if you wait too long between cleaning air filters, your filter might get all clogged up. This makes your furnace work harder to suck air through the filter, and it also becomes easier for grime to get inside your heater. To avoid this, you typically need to change your filter at least every six months. However, some filters and furnaces are different, so some product manuals might recommend you change your filter every three months. You might also need to change your filter more frequently if you have a lot of pets.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
A furnace’s life span is greatly altered by the amount of time the system has to run. When furnaces are running nonstop, a lot of wear and tear is put on the heater. This makes it more likely for parts to fail, and your system will probably need replacement sooner. Of course, the whole point of having a furnace is to heat your home, so you cannot just leave it sitting off all the time.
However, a programmable thermostat lets you shut off the furnace when it doesn’t need to run. For example, you could set the thermostat to turn off the furnace when you’re at work or tucked into bed. This lets you reduce the amount of time your furnace runs each day, so you can save money on utilities and expand its life span.
Pick the Right Furnace for Your Home
The type of furnace you choose will have a big impact on how long it will last. If you are about to install a new furnace, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure your new heater lasts a long time. Generally speaking, electric furnaces last longer than gas furnaces. If your main priority is a longer life span, choosing electric over gas is one of the best things you can do.
You also need to make sure you pick a high-quality unit. Consider using industry experts or services like Consumer Reports to find an HVAC system built by a reliable company. Even though a quality unit might be a little pricier, the longer life span can be worth it. Furthermore, you need to ensure you have the right size for your home. If your furnace is undersized, it might run constantly. If it’s oversized, it will turn on and off in a process called “short cycling.” Both of these things can put excess strain on your system and cause your furnace to break down prematurely.
Get Your Furnace Maintained Regularly
If you really want your furnace to last as long as possible, you need to perform some routine maintenance. Though heaters are designed to run reliably without too much input from you, they still need a little care every now and then. Most furnace manufacturers recommend you get routine maintenance at least once a year.
Maintenance is mostly about opening up the system to clean the interior. This gets rid of any grime that could be impairing your system’s ability to function. Another important advantage of maintenance is that a technician will closely inspect your system for any issues. They can tighten loose fittings and perform other little fixes that keep your furnace running in optimal condition.
Clean and Seal Your Ductwork
Another way to rescue the amount of work your furnace has to do is by cleaning up your ductwork. The typical home loses up to 30% of its heated air due to ductwork breaches. Small gaps in fittings or tears along the side let your hot air dissipate into the attic or crawlspace. Then, your furnace ends up running longer to make up for the lost air. Furthermore, leaky ducts can pull in bits of debris or insulation. This makes your system even more likely to end up with damaging clogs.
Depending on where your ducts are, you might be able to identify and fix leaks yourself. However, it can still be helpful to get professional duct maintenance. In addition to fixing leaks, they can also clean your ducts. This removes buildup before it can get into your furnace. The great thing about cleaning and sealing ducts is that it provides savings even outside of winter. This HVAC maintenance tip will also reduce cooling costs in summer.
Run Your Ceiling Fans Counterclockwise
Did you know that you might be running your furnace unnecessarily sometimes? Due to the fact that hot air rises, most homes end up with a layer of nice, warm air along the ceiling. Since this can be several feet above you, you might not be able to feel it, though. Fortunately, as long as you have ceiling fans, this problem is easy to solve.
Most ceiling fans contain a switch that lets you reverse the way they run. In the winter, you can set your fan to run in a counterclockwise direction on low. This will push the warm air down toward you so you can actually feel it. Getting better air circulation allows you to run your furnace less so it can last longer.
Don’t Wait to Get Repairs
The majority of furnace problems are easily fixable at first, but over time, they get worse and worse. This means that putting off repairs is likely to damage your system further. For example, a few loose screws could cause an unpleasant squeaky noise. If you ignored this noise, the screws could work their way loose, causing the fan to break free from its housing and damage the interior of the furnace.
If your furnace is not running properly, you should try to avoid running the system until you can get repairs. Try to pay close attention to your system so you can notice early warning signs. Any odd smells or noises might mean your furnace needs repairs. A furnace that blows cool air or takes a long time to heat up your home is also a cause for concern.
To help your furnace last as long as possible, you’ll need regular assistance from a reliable HVAC company. At Crystal Blue Plumbing, we can provide quality installations, prompt repairs, and reliable maintenance for your furnace. Our team also helps Sacramento residents with a variety of other services, including AC repairs, water heater installations, and plumbing services. Find out more about our services by giving us a call today.