Your furnace works hard to keep your home warm. Think about it… You probably run your furnace more than you run your car! And how often do you have your car into a garage for maintenance or repair work? The typical furnace will last for about 15 years (depending on the manufacturer), but treat it poorly and it may not last that long. Here are five tips to keep your furnace heating your home for as many years as possible.
1. Schedule an Annual Furnace Tune-Up
A good safety & efficiency tune-up will include a thorough inspection, cleaning, lubrication and any necessary adjustments to improve efficiency. If you’re not sure that you really need a tune-up, HVAC experts and manufacturers do recommend annual maintenance and answering “yes” to any of these questions makes a tune-up more urgent:
- Is your furnace working extra hard to heat your house?
- Does it seem like the warm air coming through the vents is not all that warm?
- Is your furnace running loud or making loud noises?
- Is your furnace old?
- Does your furnace smell funny–maybe smokey, a burning smell or the odor of rotten eggs?
(Note: If you smell rotten eggs, you should have your furnace looked at immediately as this may indicate a natural gas leak. If the odor is strong, you should vacate the house immediately and call the gas utility.)
2. Change the Air Filter Regularly
Disposable fiberglass filters should be replaced every 30 days, but check your filter and furnace manual to see how often you should be replacing your filter and what type you should be using. The number of pets you have can also affect how often you should change your filter. A dirty filter will make your furnace work harder to circulate the air and that can cause extra wear or even serious damage to your furnace.
3. Clean Your Ducts
Be sure to keep the return air vents unobstructed. Clean them to prevent the build-up of dust and debris.
Every few years it’s a good idea to have a professional duct cleaning so that your system is delivering the cleanest air possible. (See this article about Duct Cleaning for more details!)
4. Give your Furnace a break
Is your furnace running almost 24/7? Can you give it a break? Turning the thermostat down to 68 degrees when you’re away for the day will give the furnace a rest and save you money on your energy bill.
5. Upgrade your Insulation
The better your home is insulated, the less your furnace will need to run to keep your house warm. How’s your attic? Getting insulation blown into your attic can make a big difference.
Long Live your Furnace!
Take good care of your furnace and it will keep your house warm and comfortable for many more years. Be sure to schedule your annual furnace tune-up with the HVAC Experts at Full Nelson Services to ensure your peace of mind all winter long.