Furnace Tips: Don’t be cold this fall
Fall just began, the last thing most people at this time consider is the cold temperature. But, putting off important things like furnace maintenance can give more headaches very quickly as summer transitions into fall. In this post, you will find tips for furnace maintenance. And also when it is better to just replace the old furnace.
It is a standard thought that a furnace system can operate the same as performed last winters. Most of the time it is better to have a checklist to see if it is safe and functioning properly. Below we mentioned some straightforward and cheap ways to avoid expensive emergency repairs.
These maintenance tips and checklist will help you with your family’s indoor comfort and avoid any danger.
Clean out your main furnace appliance
Always remember to properly clean out your main furnace appliance. You can use a vacuum or hand duster for cleaning cobwebs, dirt, and other debris. They force your furnace system to work extra and there is always a fire hazard because of them
Take special care about electrical wires, try not to touch inside wires of the furnace. There is the risk of electrical short if you loosen or dislodge these wires.
Vacuum out heat registers and vents
Dust particles in the vents and heat registers can cause a problem if they sucked into the heating system. Take special attention in cleaning vents and heat registers of any dust or cobwebs.
Change your furnace filter
Changing the furnace filter every year or two is recommended. The filter of furnace system can collect cobwebs, dust and other debris even when it is not used. Always check your filter before using the furnace system.
Conduct visual inspection
In furnace maintenance important step is to inspect it regularly. Check your furnace system visually to ensure that it will work perfectly. At 1st always remember to clean any dirt and also replace the filter (If its needed). Then turn on the system and check if all igniters are working fine.
If furnace igniters do not light up or seem like sluggish then immediately close it. It is better to call the professional who can check the problem and suggest you accordingly. Most of the time it happens because of worn-out burners/igniters.
Using the worn-out igniters can be potentially dangerous for your furnace system. It can also result in high bills as furnace will use more energy.
Checking and preparing the furnace system doesn’t require much time. It will only take less than an hour to properly check everything.
Also, this will ensure that you don’t face any risk or extra expense later on. The above-mentioned steps are easy and can be followed by homeowners on their own.
When is it time to replace your furnace?
No furnace lasts forever, but determining the ideal time to replace your home’s heater isn’t always easy. Whether you’re faced with frequent repairs or you’re fed up with poor heating performance, the following telltale signs can indicate when it’s time to replace your furnace.
The furnace is more than 10 years old
The lifespan of a well-designed furnace averages between 15 to 18 years, but even when maintained properly, they lose around one percent of their energy efficiency each year. Thanks to stricter energy requirements and technological advancements, modern furnaces are much more energy efficient than older models that rarely achieved efficiencies higher than 70 percent.
Today’s best condensing furnaces are as high as 98 percent efficient, converting nearly all of the energy they consume into household heat, and that can save you a bundle of money over the life of the system.
According to the Department of Energy, replacing an outdated furnace with an Energy Star-qualified model can reduce your heating bills by 15 percent or more.
A furnace needs frequent repairs
You count on your furnace to keep your household warm when outdoor temperatures drop, so it makes sense to consider replacement when your heater no longer offers reliable performance.
Keep in mind that faulty components affect the furnace’s energy efficiency too. When you take higher energy bills into account along with the cost of frequent or major repairs, a replacement may save you money over the long run.
The peace of mind that comes with knowing your heating system will work when you need it can make a replacement worthwhile as well.
The furnace’s performance
If you’re tired of putting up with uncomfortable fluctuations in temperature or if some rooms are too hot while others are too cold, a new furnace can offer you a higher level of comfort at home.
Many of today’s high-efficiency condensing furnaces come with features designed to adapt to your changing heating needs. Systems with variable-speed blowers, for example, deliver air more slowly when heating demands are low.
Instead of blasts of hot air, you’ll experience a more even delivery of warmth while improving efficiency and reducing operating noise.
Ask the professional
It’s a good idea to partner with a reputable HVAC contractor when deciding whether it’s time to replace your furnace. Qualified contractors can calculate annual estimated operating costs for a range of furnace efficiencies based on models, utility rates and your home’s unique heating needs.
Weighing operating expenses against the heater’s upfront cost can help you determine whether a replacement or a repair is the most cost-effective option.
Furnace maintenance and the dangers of carbon monoxide
During winter, colder temperatures bring families indoors to enjoy the warmth of a heated home. Unfortunately, each year more than 20,000 people are sickened by carbon monoxide emitted from their furnaces.
Tragically, carbon monoxide poisoning kills more than 400 people a year. Keeping your furnace in good repair will prevent the colorless and odorless gas from harming you and your loved ones.
Your body’s red blood cells absorb carbon monoxide more easily than oxygen. As a result, the gas replaces oxygen in the body and starts to destroy tissue, eventually leading to death if you don’t remove yourself or the carbon monoxide from the environment.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, including a headache, fatigue, nausea, and confusion, mimic other illnesses, making it difficult to recognize. People over 65 years old are more susceptible to this danger, but a person of any age can be affected.
A gas or oil furnace can be a prime source of carbon monoxide poisoning. There are several signs that your furnace isn’t in working order and needs to be cleaned or repaired before continued use.
Check for the signs
Evidence of soot around the appliance is an indication that a carbon monoxide problem may be developing.
An increased amount of moisture on walls or windows is another sign, as is water leaking from the bottom of the furnace.
The flame burning in your furnace should be blue; if it is orange or red, you have a problem. Likewise, there shouldn’t be a smoky smell in your home.
When you detect an odor of smoke while your furnace is running, you need to call a furnace repair company.
One way to ensure your safety is to have your furnace inspected annually before the heating season begins. A heating professional will clean dusty or dirty burners and blower blades. The furnace filter should be replaced every year.
If your furnace has a pilot mechanism, it should be inspected to make sure it’s working properly. Most furnaces today use hot surface ignition systems, which must be gently cleaned of residue.
The best way to monitor carbon monoxide in your home is with a carbon monoxide detector.
Watch for the cracks
Cracks in the furnace, as well as components that are damaged or not functioning, will require repair.
A qualified furnace repair company handles these types of issues on an emergency basis and offers regular maintenance services, too. It’s a good idea to find a company that has a North American Technology Excellence (NATE) certification.
If you want to be sure your family will stay healthy while using your home’s furnace, call on an experienced furnace service provider.
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