When the warm months begin to fade along with the green from the trees, it is time to look to furnace health and well-being and make sure the system is in good working order. A furnace in top ship-shape condition will save money overall and keep the household happier and healthier in a warm, snug environment. A few simple steps will ensure that this is the case.
Clear Away Clutter
During the warm months, things can accumulate on top of furnaces and vents. Be sure there are no fire hazards stacked atop the heater or placed too close to it and no furniture or boxes or possessions blocking the hot air that will soon come streaming out of air vents.
Clean Air Ducts and Vents
Keeping the passages of air open prevents the unit from being overworked. Cleaning air ducts and vents also is better for the health of those who live in the home. Nobody wants to be breathing the dust and allergens from last spring.
Test Drive the Furnace
Switch the thermostat to heat and nudge the temperature to just above that already in the room. If the furnace does not kick on, try pulling off the cover and ensuring that the wires are secure–if this is within your comfort range. If they are, the problem could exist anywhere within the system and it is best to call in an expert.
Change Your Filter
In all likelihood, you either have filters behind vent grills in the ceiling or walls or a lone filter in the heating unit itself. Either change these filters when three months or so has passed or wash them if you have pemanent electrostatic filters. Replacing or cleaning air filters on a regular basis keeps the particles from the heating system and prolongs its life.
Consider Upgrading Your Filter
If your current filter is flat, consider upgrading to a HEPA or high-efficiency particulate arresting filter, a pleated filter, or an electrostatic filter. These upgrades increase your furnace’s energy efficiency and permit warm air to continue without impediment throughout your home.
Inspect the Blower Belt
Make sure the blower belt lacks cracks. To do this, turn off the furnace’s breaker to fully power it off at the main panel. Using a screwdriver, remove the air handler’s steel cover. The blower belt is apparent as it is the largest rubber belt that can be seen. If there are cracks in it, get it replaced.
Set Up Your Thermostat
If you have a programmable thermostat, get it started pushing out less hot air at night whenever everyone is asleep as well as when the house is empty. This can save from as little as twenty percent to as much as seventy-five percent on the operating costs of your furnace.
Inspect the Exhaust
Check the outdoor exhaust flue to make sure it is clear of debris and obstructions. This can include stray branches or even intricate animal nests.
A few inspections, changes, and cleanings can do wonders to ensure the health and wellbeing of a furnace system. Stay warm and snug by following these simple steps. Your furnace, family, and energy bills will thank you.
Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.