It’s that time of year again – the leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping! If you haven’t already fired up your furnace, chances are you’ll be forced to very soon.
Your furnace is responsible for keeping you and your family comfortable throughout the season – you’re responsible for maintaining the furnace to help preserve the life of your entire HVAC system for many seasons to come. Here are five checkpoints to use to ensure your furnace is ready for the long season ahead:
- Is the air filter clean?
Your air filter keeps dust, dirt and allergens out of your home. As they become clogged, they create a serious fire hazard. A dirty air filter makes your HVAC system work much harder, resulting in a higher energy bill. Experts recommend replacing your air filter every 30 – 60 days.
- Is the gas pressure good and the flame sensor okay?
Low gas pressure will make your burner run longer and use more energy – so make sure you set the gauge to the appropriate setting for your model.
The flame sensor makes sure there isn’t too much gas being pumped into the system. If the sensor is dirty or clogged, the readings will not be accurate and could lead to system overload or even a fire! It’s extremely important to ensure the flame sensor is always clean and working properly.
- Is the thermostat functioning correctly?
Your thermostat will help control your heating costs if they are maintained correctly and give accurate readings. You can reduce your heating costs by 5% just by turning the thermostat down two degrees! Ensure the batteries are fully charged and the fan is kicking on/off appropriately.
- Is the ductwork in good condition?
The ductwork carries cool/heated air throughout your home. If it is loose, unevenly joined, or has holes, the conditioned or heated air you are paying for will escape through those openings – throwing your money right out of the window.
- Is the airflow strong to all of the supply outlets?
Making sure that the airflow is strong to all of the supply outlets is very important, because this is the heat and air that is supposed to go into a room and/or area. If the airflow is weak in your home, you should have the air ducts checked for leaks so that they can be sealed to prevent further leakage.
Just as you schedule regular maintenance for your car, you should schedule regular maintenance for your furnace. Being proactive beforehand will save you the stress and expense that comes along with service calls and furnace repairs.