It’s a very common scenario: A homeowner shells out the money to get a brand new furnace but sadly has no idea how to properly care for it. If you want your furnace to do the best possible job of heating your home and save you money in the long run, you have to create the best possible environment for it to flourish. If you just expect your new furnace to automatically run efficiently and without problems, it’s going to end up being a poor investment. By adding these five steps to your regular furnace care routine, you can ensure that you will be getting the best results from your new heating system.
1. Regular Tune-Ups
One of the best things you can do to keep your furnace in good shape is to have it inspected and tuned up by trained heating professionals. During these check-ups, furnace technicians will inspect the various components of the furnace and make sure that all of them are working correctly without any imminent issues. The technician will also make sure that the appliance is running as efficiently as possible in terms of energy usage, and that it doesn’t have any safety problems.
It is recommended that your furnace gets one of these tune-ups on a yearly basis. By doing this, you will save money in both the short and long term. In the short term, your monthly heating bills will be lower, due to the increased energy efficiency. In the long term, you will be much less likely to have to dish out large sums of money for repairs, or even for a replacement furnace. In the Sacramento area, we at Huft Home Services have a team of dependable professionals, who are always available to give your furnace one of these check-ups at an affordable price.
2. Clean Your Air Filter and Vents
Loose dust, dirt, and debris can all be your furnace’s worst enemy. If these particles find their way into certain spaces, they can force your heating appliance to exert significantly more energy causing it to overwork. This is the primary reason that your furnace has an air filter. If dust and debris get into the inner workings of the furnace, it can clog up the system and put it at risk for serious problems. The air filter is the last line of defense to prevent this, but over time, even the air filter itself can become clogged up. When an air filter gets clogged with dirt and debris, the furnace has to work much harder to pull air through it, and this makes for a less healthy furnace. We recommend taking your air filter out once a month and thoroughly cleaning it. If it’s extremely dirty, you may need to replace it with a new one.
After you’ve taken care of the air filter, we recommend cleaning out all of your household vents. Your furnace uses these vents to circulate and disperse warm air throughout your household, but they can also become clogged with dust particles and random debris. Make a point to clean these vents out on a regular basis by removing the cover panels with a screwdriver and vacuuming the inside area with an extension hose.
3. Increase Your Home’s Humidity
Believe it or not, purchasing a humidifier for your home can actually make a real difference in the health and effectiveness of your furnace. During the winter months, the air outside and in your home tends to contain less moisture. This dryness in the air actually can make your home feel significantly colder inside than it actually is. A humidifier will significantly raise the level of moisture in your home’s air, which will allow for heat to move more effectively throughout the house. Just like that, your home will start to feel warmer on its own, and you can turn down the thermostat a bit. The more consistently your furnace is working, the more wear and tear it’s going to accumulate, and the more likely it’s going to have technical problems or a breakdown. Because of this, being able to turn the thermostat down—even by just a few degrees for a few hours—can make a difference over time. Oftentimes, the humidifier ends up paying for itself in the long run, albeit indirectly.
4. Seal Up Any Leaks
When your home is having trouble retaining heat inside its walls, it can be problematic for your furnace. The more warm air that escapes on a regular basis, the more your heating appliance has to work to compensate for it. This extra exertion not only causes your heating bills to go up but also greatly increases the odds that your heating system is going to need repairs or have a shorter lifespan. This is why it’s so important to locate and seal any cracks or leaks in your home, as they’re the number one source for cold air entering, and warm air leaking out.
More often than not, the biggest culprits for these little cracks and air leaks will be the edges around windows, doorways, and especially your garage door. Even a leak that seems insignificant can make a major difference over time, so it’s important that you’re thorough with your search and in making sure that every one of them gets sealed up. If necessary, hire a professional to take care of them for you.
5. Let the Furnace Rest
If you’re able to find periods of the day, even if they’re relatively short, when you can turn the heat down or off and find other ways to stay warm, it can be very beneficial. If your furnace has to keep working to heat your home 24 hours a day, throughout the entire fall and winter, it’s going to wear down the appliance. Unless you want to be paying for extra maintenance and repairs all the time, it’s not a good idea to run your furnace continually. So, instead, occasionally find ways to stay warm without the help of your furnace.
The simplest way is to stay warm is to wear warmer clothes. Throw on a sweater and some warm pants, either one night a week, or for an hour or two each evening. Alternatively, your curtains can be used strategically to give your furnace a rest. When the sun is shining outside, open some or all of the blinds in your house, and let that sunlight provide natural warmth instead of cranking up your furnace. Then, at night, closing the curtains can help keep more heat trapped inside your home. Finally, consider lowering the thermostat a bit when you go to bed. By bringing the temperature down just seven to ten degrees each night, you can take a significant percentage off of your heating bills.
If you’re in the greater Sacramento area and need a local heating professional that you can trust, we at Huft Home Services offer affordable, meticulous service. Whether you just want us to give your furnace a regular check-up, or you need it repaired or replaced, our experts are qualified and ready to do the job. If heating services aren’t what you’re looking for, we also offer a variety of other services that include cooling, plumbing, electrical, and insulation.
Giving the appliances in your home proper care is always something worth being proactive about. If you require qualified professionals for any of your household needs, don’t hesitate to contact us today and schedule an appointment.