The furnace is a foundational aspect of a home or commercial building. Ensuring the furnace is working efficiently is essential for protecting your capital investment. Not to mention, a well-maintained furnace has numerous cost-saving and environmental benefits.
Fortunately, furnace maintenance is relatively straightforward. Here are six tips to help your furnace run better.
Use Your Senses for Inspection
The furnace is often tucked away in an area where it’s out of sight and out of mind. As such, we rarely think about it until something goes wrong. However, there are obvious signs that your furnace may not be running properly that you can detect before they evolve into a costly issue.
Take some time to conduct a basic inspection at least once during every cold month. Use your senses to guide you. Look for frayed or damaged wires or dirt and grime that could impact the connections. Listen for sounds of clunking or signs that the blower isn’t fully functional. If you smell oil, gas or sulfur, call a furnace expert immediately.
Keep Your Filter Clear
One of the simplest things you can do to maintain your furnace is to keep the filter clean – the cleaner the filter, the better the airflow through your home. Cleaning or replacing your filter ensures your furnace won’t have to work as hard to heat your home, thus improving its lifespan (source: https://furnace-repair-toronto.ca).
Different furnaces have their own guidelines regarding how often to replace or clean your filter. If you don’t have an owner’s manual, ask an expert.
Schedule a Pre-Winter Tune-Up
An annual furnace tune-up should be on your home maintenance list for the early fall. You want to get this done well before you need to turn the furnace on for the winter months. There’s no worse time to discover an issue with your furnace than during the first cold snap of the year.
During your furnace tune-up, the maintenance professional will evaluate and tighten the belts, ensure all the bearings are well lubricated, and do a thorough inspection to ensure everything is working well. An annual tune-up is well worth the return on investment, as it can dramatically extend the lifespan of your furnace and ensure it is operating efficiently.
Keep the Area Free of Dust and Debris
During the colder months, take some time to keep your furnace and the surrounding area free of dust and debris. A simple wipe down with a dusting cloth can keep your filter clean and prevent clogged connections inside the furnace.
To streamline your maintenance efforts, you can do this task when conducting your monthly inspection.
Program Your Thermostat
If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, it’s time for an upgrade. The primary benefit of a programmable or smart thermostat is that it can save you thousands in heating costs over the years. Scheduling cooler periods at night or while you’re away at work ensures you’re not heating your home when nobody is home to notice the difference.
There’s a common misconception that scheduling cooler periods will cause your furnace to work harder to catch up – this is a myth. Instead, your furnace won’t be working as hard to keep your home warm when you are not around, thus extending its lifespan.
Use Other Temperature Control Methods
There are numerous other things you can do to help control the temperature in your home. By implementing these strategies, your furnace won’t have to work as hard, saving you money.
During the winter months, set your ceiling fans to clockwise and let them run on a low setting to force the warm air down from the ceiling. Consider sealing your windows with a window kit or use heavy curtains. Check for drafts around the home and seal them for the winter.
With these simple tips, you can help your furnace run better for longer, saving you thousands of dollars over time.