Living in Canada, your furnace is an essential part of your HVAC system. It keeps out the cold on those frigid days, so making it last is paramount. No one wants to deal with replacements or repairs when it’s minus twenty outside. We’ve compiled a list of five easy things you can do to make sure your furnace lasts and keeps you warm for years to come.
Don’t skip out on regular maintenance
Regular maintenance ensures your furnace is performing efficiently and extends the life of your furnace. A unit that’s malfunctioning works harder than normal to keep your house warm, resulting in higher energy bills and premature wear and tear on your investment.
Most experts recommend yearly tune-ups. While it may be tempting to let maintenance fall by the wayside, beware! Skipping regular maintenance may void manufacturer’s warranties, and gas units can be actively dangerous when improperly maintained.
If you’re unsure how often to have your furnace looked at, check your warranty for what your manufacturer recommends. As technicians at smilehvac.ca say: “ If it’s been a few years since you’ve had your furnace inspected, it’s easy to get back on track with furnace repair.”
Change your filters regularly
Forgetting to change your filter seems innocuous, but dirty filters reduce the airflow to your unit, forcing your furnace to work harder to circulate air and speeding up wear and tear. An old filter not only runs the risk of damaging your unit but also has the potential to raise your heating bill and cause difficulties in maintaining your house’s temperature.
Most filters need to be changed every one to three months, but the frequency depends on the type of filter, your household, and the season. For example, you may need filter changes less often during the summer and shoulder seasons when you’re not using your furnace as much, while during the winter, you may need more frequent changes. Furnaces in larger houses have to pump more air to circulate heating and may need filter changes more often than those in a smaller household.
Besides wear and tear on your unit, filter changes are essential for your health. When your filter is clogged, those particles and allergens are released back into your home. If you have small children, if anyone in your house has dust/allergen sensitivities or asthma, or if you have furry family members that shed, you may need to change your filter more often. Set a calendar reminder once a month to check your filter. If you can’t see the filter material anymore, it’s time for a change.
Keep vents open and clean your furnace periodically
Don’t stop at regular filter changes. Those dust bunnies that collect under your couch can also clog your vents and ducts. Next time you’re vacuuming, give your furnace vents and ducts a little love too. A quick vacuum can clear away dust and debris that blocks vents.
Similarly, keeping all of your vents open reduces strain on your unit and keeps it functioning appropriately. Make sure that your vents are clear and aren’t blocked by furniture to allow air to circulate.
While the furnace itself also needs cleaning besides regular filter changes, be careful. There are many delicate components inside that can be easily damaged. If you’re unsure how to properly clean your unit, having it professionally cleaned can give you peace of mind and ensure the efficiency you need from your furnace.
Keep an eye on your thermostat
Most homeowners take a “set it and forget it” approach to their thermostat, but it’s important to check in periodically. If it’s not matching the temperature in your house or your furnace is coming on or turning off when it shouldn’t, your thermostat may be malfunctioning.
Your furnace may run excessively or be unable to maintain the temperature if your thermostat is faulty. If your thermostat is battery-powered, the problem could be as simple as a battery change. However, if a battery change doesn’t help or your thermostat isn’t battery-powered, you may need to have a technician come in to repair it.
Purchase a reliable unit in the first place
It seems obvious, but it’s easy to get caught up in saving a few bucks on the purchase price. However, you can quickly end up paying the money you save initially and more in repair and maintenance costs on an unreliable unit. A furnace is a considerable investment and not a purchase to make lightly, so do a little research before shopping.
Look for reliable brands as well as units with a high energy efficiency rating. An energy-efficient unit can cut your heating bill almost in half, and furnaces with a 95% or higher efficiency rating may qualify you for government rebate programs. Be careful to check the manufacturer warranties before purchasing as well! Less-than-reputable brands may have shorter or substandard warranties. Most reputable brands offer a 10-year warranty.
Remember that after you decide on a unit, you’re not finished yet! Purchasing the furnace itself is only half the battle. Having a reliable technician to install it is paramount to ensure your furnace functions well from the get-go. Your wallet will thank you later for investing in a dependable unit and a reliable technician. If you’re still unsure what brand to go with, your technician can guide you based on your budget and needs.
With these five steps, you can make sure your investment lasts. No furnace maintenance routine is complete without a reliable maintenance company. Reach out to your local furnace repair to get started today.