Your home is likely your largest investment, so you should be doing everything you can to keep it in tip-top shape. This includes caring for all the various lines, systems, and appliances in and around your home. Of course, this time of year your family likely depends on one very vital home appliance more than any other — that’s right, it’s your home’s furnace.
Your furnace should be able to keep up with the heating demands you set via your thermostat, even on the coldest days. With so much use, it’s no wonder that furnaces may face untimely breakdowns, especially if they aren’t properly cared for.
Here’s what you need to know to take proper care of your family’s heating system this winter.
Tip #1: Don’t forget to schedule yearly maintenance.
You should be scheduling an annual tune-up appointment for your heating system. During this maintenance appointment, a trained technician will thoroughly clean and inspect all components inside your furnace. He or she will make sure that everything is running as efficiently as possible, and they will also be able to detect potential problems and get them fixed — e.g., parts that need to be repaired or replaced (ignitors, blower motors, and so on). Taking care of potential issues ahead of time may help prevent an unexpected breakdown of your unit during the dead of winter.
Additionally, a tune-up appointment serves as a safety check for your unit. This means that if your system is fueled by natural gas, the tech will check for any potential natural gas leaks coming from your unit, and for any carbon monoxide (CO) leaks, which could possibly go unnoticed as this gas doesn’t have color or odor. If left undetected, a CO leak could lead to a life-threatening situation for you and your loved ones.
Along with checking the operation and safety of your heating system, the furnace pro will also be able to address any questions or concerns you may have about maintenance, how to change the air filter, when a replacement furnace may become necessary, and so on.
Tip #2: Replace your air filter OFTEN!
It’s recommended for homeowners to install a new air filter monthly, perhaps even more often if you have pets or smokers in your home. These things could cause your filter to get dirty more quickly.
The role of your air filter is to capture airborne materials and prevent them from getting into your furnace, as well as stopping them from getting pushed out with the conditioned air from your heater as it goes through your ducts.
When an air filter is dirty and dusty, the furnace must work harder to push out warm air. This additional strain could potentially lead to premature wear and tear on the components inside your unit, and potentially an unexpected, expensive breakdown. Not only that, but a dirty filter could cause problems for your home’s indoor air quality. This could be an issue for anyone in your home who may have allergies or respiratory problems, like asthma.
Tip #3: Keep your home neat and tidy.
Keeping a clean home can actually help your furnace run more efficiently. If your rooms have vents that are blocked with clutter or furniture, rugs, curtains, etc., this could prevent warm air from your furnace from getting into all the spaces in your home.
This may not seem like a big deal, but when your home’s rooms aren’t reaching the temperature set on your thermostat, your furnace continues to run to try and warm things up. This extra use of your heater could possibly lead to higher energy bills and added wear on its parts, not to mention a cold, uncomfortable home when warm air isn’t circulating like it should.
Also make sure that the area around your furnace is clear of debris. If you have things leaning against or stacked around your furnace, it could potentially lead to a dangerous situation. The space around your heater can become quite warm, and any flammable items placed around it could ignite if they’re too close to the unit. For your family’s safety, be mindful of anything in the vicinity around your furnace.
Bonus tip to help in case of a needed repair…
To keep your family’s furnace operating as expected throughout the heating season, enroll ahead of time in the Heating Repair Plan offered by Oncourse Home Solutions. When you’re enrolled in this plan and a covered problem occurs, just pick up the phone and give us a call. We’ll work with our network of professional service providers to help get your heater running like normal again as quickly as possible. Have questions or concerns about coverage or billing options? Give us a call at any time, or you can chat with a customer service representative by clicking the “Click to Chat” tab on the right side of the page.