Five Tips for Extending the Life of Your Furnace
It’s cold outside and your furnace is working some serious overtime. If it’s getting some years on it, you’re probably gritting your teeth a little, hoping it will survive another winter. The bad news is, furnaces typically last only about 15 years before they need to be replaced. And, like any major appliance, heating systems need proper maintenance to reduce the risk of breaking down unexpectedly.
Here are a few tips for keeping your furnace up and running, and extending its overall lifespan.
Change Air Filters Frequently
Most homeowners don’t change their air filters nearly as often as needed. Dirty air filters can not only lead to poor air quality inside your home, they can potentially damage your furnace. When filters are dirty, your furnace must work harder to maintain airflow, resulting in a shorter lifespan of your system. Changing your air filter regularly is one of the easiest and least expensive things you can do to maintain your heating and cooling system. Most filter manufacturers recommend changing your filters every three months, but the life of a filter can depend on specific conditions in your home. For instance, you many need to change your filters more often if you have pets or smokers in the home, or if you’ve been doing projects around the house that stir up a lot of dust.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
If your home has an outdated analog thermostat, consider upgrading to a programmable version. Older thermostats don’t have the same precision as newer, advanced models, resulting in your furnace having to work harder to maintain your desired indoor temperature.
Keep Your Home Well Insulated
Unfortunately, heat can escape through windows, doors, chimneys, attics, and even gaps between floorboards. Heat loss not only hits your wallet, it makes your furnace work extra hard to maintain a cozy temperature. Insulating your home is one of the best ways to keep your house warm and comfortable without putting extra strain on your furnace. Adding some insulation, sealing cracks between window frames and walls, and sealing leaks in your air ducts can help keep your home warm all season long.
Schedule an Annual HVAC Inspection
Don’t make the mistake of ignoring your furnace until something major is wrong. An annual inspection and a little preventative maintenance can catch issues early on, and protect you from costly repairs down the road.
Get Your Air Ducts Cleaned
Just like your car, heating and cooling systems perform better with regular maintenance. When done properly, air duct cleaning is very beneficial to the longevity of your entire HVAC system. Despite routinely replacing filters, your heating and cooling system gets dirty through everyday use. That dirt is filled with contaminants and air pollutants that can harm your indoor air quality, and cause your heating and cooling system to work harder, significantly shortening the lifespan of your system. There are several factors that can increase the need for regular air duct cleaning, such as the number of occupants in your home, whether you have pets, and if anyone in your house suffers from allergies. Any one of those situations can increase the frequency with which air ducts should be cleaned. When you’re ready to hire a contractor to have your air ducts cleaned, make sure you choose an air duct cleaning company who is a member of NADCA.