When it comes time to purchase a new water heater, you have a variety of…
Buying and installing a new furnace is a major investment. This makes it essential that you do everything you can to protect your furnace so that it hopefully lasts for years to come. Under normal operating conditions, you should be able to expect a new furnace to last for somewhere between 10 to 15 years. You may be able to extend this life by making sure to properly care for and maintain your furnace. However, you might also find yourself needing a replacement long before this time should you neglect to take the proper steps to help protect your furnace and ensure it doesn’t have to work harder than it should. Below are nine tips that will help you extend the life of your furnace.
1. Get Yearly Furnace Maintenance and Tune-Ups
Far and away one of the biggest keys to protecting your furnace and preserving its life span is to make sure that you keep it properly maintained. Scheduling a yearly maintenance and tune-up appointment every autumn is one of the easiest and best things you can do for your heating system. With this type of annual maintenance, an HVAC technician will first inspect your furnace and heating system to ensure there are no issues that need repairing. The technician will also clean the unit and tighten up any connections to ensure that the furnace is functioning as efficiently and effectively as possible.
2. Don’t Wait to Have Any Necessary Repairs Performed
If any issues are uncovered during your annual maintenance appointment, it is vital that you have them repaired as soon as possible. Similarly, you should also contact an HVAC technician immediately should you notice your furnace isn’t working properly. Many minor furnace issues are fairly easy to repair. However, these problems could quickly turn into something much larger without immediate attention. Furthermore, certain furnace issues can also create hazardous conditions such as gas or carbon monoxide leaks. Therefore, it is essential that you have the furnace inspected at the first sign of a potential problem.
Specifically, you should pay attention to any of these signs that could indicate your furnace is in need of repair:
- Difficulties getting the furnace to turn on
- Short-cycling or the furnace turning off before it completes a full heating cycle
- Uneven or inadequate heating
- Excessive or unusual noises coming from the furnace
- Strange smells emanating from the furnace
- Unusual increase in your energy bills
- Pilot light is yellow instead of blue
3. Use a Programmable Thermostat or Smart Thermostat
As you might expect, one of the biggest factors in determining how long a furnace will last is how often it runs and how hard it has to work. Basically, the more frequently your furnace runs, the more likely it is to break down or stop working altogether. One simple way to reduce the load on your furnace is to install a programmable thermostat to ensure the furnace only runs when you’re actually home.
No one likes to come home from a long day of work to a freezing cold home, but there are much easier ways to prevent this than simply keeping your furnace running at full blast all daylong. By using a programmable thermostat, you can both reduce unnecessary load on your furnace and help save money on your heating costs. Better still, you could consider installing a smart thermostat to enable you to control your heating system remotely using your phone or other connected device.
4. Make Sure Your Ducts Are Properly Sealed
Duct leaks are a major problem that can also cause your furnace to work much harder than it should. In fact, it is estimated that leaky ductwork wastes as much as 25 to 30% of the energy the furnace uses. Not only do these leaks cause your energy bill to be much higher than necessary, but they also force your furnace to work overtime due to all this heat loss. Furthermore, duct leaks are also a major contributor to uneven heating problems, which often lead to people setting the thermostat much higher than needed. Luckily, fixing these issues is as simple as having your ductwork professionally inspected and repaired or sealed as necessary.
5. Change Your Air Filters Regularly
A furnace filter is extremely effective at trapping dust, hair and other airborne particles. However, this also means that the filter can quickly become clogged. When this happens, it reduces airflow and forces your furnace to work much harder. Therefore, it is essential that you check your air filter regularly to ensure it is not clogged and replace your old filter with a new one every 30 to 90 days.
6. Make Sure You’re Using the Right Air Filter for Your System
It is also important that you use the right type of air filter for your specific furnace. Although higher-rated filters are more effective at trapping allergens and contaminants, the more efficient filters may also restrict the airflow to your furnace. For this reason, it is usually recommended that you never use any higher than a MERV 10 or 12 filter in your residential furnace. If you’re in doubt about which filter you should be using, it’s always a good idea to contact an HVAC professional at IT Landes.
7. Consider Having Your Ducts Cleaned
Duct cleaning is more frequently performed in order to improve indoor air quality. However, if you notice that your air filter is getting clogged every few weeks, it could be a sign that your ducts are dirty and need cleaning. Although it is uncommon, extremely dusty and dirty ductwork could also restrict airflow and force your furnace to work overtime.
8. Seal Around Windows and Doors to Eliminate Air Leaks
Drafty windows and doors are some of the biggest culprits in terms of heat loss. Not only do they allow heat to escape, but they also let the cold air from outside in. As a result, your furnace will be forced to run more frequently than it otherwise would. To prevent this issue, it’s a good idea to check the weatherstripping and also make sure that your windows and doors are fully sealed on the inside and outside. You should always replace the weatherstripping if it is cracked or damaged. Similarly, you should reseal around your windows and doors if you notice any caulking that is missing or damaged. Finally, you may also want to consider replacing any old single-pane windows with new double-pane windows as these provide much better insulation from the cold.
9. Make Sure Your Home Has Adequate Insulation
Along with leaky windows and doors, insufficient insulation in your attic or walls can also be a major contributor to heat loss. The fact that heat rises means inadequate attic insulation can be especially problematic. Therefore, this is another area you should check if you notice that your furnace is running more frequently than it should be.
Trusted Heating Experts
If you’re looking for ways to improve the efficiency of your furnace or in need of any other heating services for your home in Harleysville, IT Landes has got you covered. We also offer a full range of cooling services as well as plumbing services and fuel oil delivery. For more information on extending the life of your furnace, contact us today.