A heating system is a big investment and you want it to last for as many years as possible. In order to keep your heater functioning properly and efficiently, there are some regular maintenance and cleaning steps you should take.
Check and Replace Filters
It’s easy to forget to change your filter regularly. However, if your filter gets clogged, you could end up with some pretty serious furnace issues on your hand. Luckily, filters are a fairly cheap expense that could potentially save you hundreds of dollars, so whether you pencil in a reminder on your calendar or set a monthly alarm on your phone, try not to forget to change out your filters.
Inspect Your Thermostat
It may seem like your furnace’s main unit is the most important aspect of your heating system, but you shouldn’t overlook your thermostat. It controls how you operate your heater and should be in good working condition in order for your furnace to work properly. If you have a problem with your thermostat, you may end up thinking you have a large repair on your hands when it could be a simple fix. Periodically test your thermostat by changing the temperature settings and listening for your heater to kick on. Thermostats can last many years, but if yours looks like it’s seen better days, then you may want to replace it with a more energy-efficient model, which could potentially save you hundreds on your energy bills.
Don’t Forget Your Ducts
Life can get messy, which means that dirt and other debris can build up in your ducts and cause your furnace to malfunction. If you have pets, you’re even more susceptible to getting clogged ducts due to pet hair and dander. You should periodically clean out your ducts with a strong vacuum. If you don’t have a vacuum with a long reach, you may want to consider a home furnace service company to clean it out for you. They’re specially trained to handle duct cleaning and can get into those hard to reach places a regular vacuum cleaner won’t. While they’re there, have them inspect them for any cracks or leaks to ensure they’re still in proper working condition.
Clean Your Unit
Along with cleaning out your furnace ducts every so often, you should also schedule routine maintenance to have your furnace unit cleaned and inspected. This includes the blower assembly, which is a crucial part of your unit, and any vents or fans your furnace may have. Regular cleaning and inspection aren’t just for older furnaces, either. Even if you have a newer unit, you should plan to have it looked at at least once a year to ensure it’s still in good working condition and to address any potential issues. Your furnace may last much longer if it’s clean and well-maintained.
Know When to Call the Pros
Sometimes you can do everything right and you may still run into issues with your furnace. A few things to watch for are noises that are out of the ordinary, skyrocketing monthly energy bills, failure for your unit to stay on, and issues with the pilot light. Taking care to address potential issues right away could save your furnace and your wallet. If your heater is old or inefficient, it may be worth the cost to upgrade to a newer model. If your unit is making a grinding, rattling, or high-pitch noise or having other issues you‘ve never had in the past, calling in the professionals right away to evaluate your machine may be your best bet.
With routine maintenance, knowing how your furnace operates, and some diligence, you furnace should last you many years. Watch for warning signs it may be time to replace your machine and don’t be afraid to seek professional advice if you think there could be something wrong with your unit.