Heating is the largest energy expense for most Colorado homes. If there’s an issue with your furnace, it can cause those heating bills to skyrocket.
Thankfully, proper furnace maintenance can help prevent issues and extend the life of your system. Not sure where to start? We’re here to provide you with some insider tips to keep your home warm.
Read on to discover the most efficient ways to care for your furnace, so it lasts you as long as possible.
1. Replace the Furnace Filter
Most manufacturers recommend changing the filter every 60 to 90 days. However, this can vary depending on the quality of your indoor air and other factors. For instance, you may need to replace the filter more often if you have a cat or dog and pet hair clogs the filter or if you’ve recently renovated the home and there’s a lot of construction dust.
In general, it’s good to get into the habit of checking the filter frequently to assess how clean it is.
So, why is replacing the filter so important? The furnace filter serves many purposes. The primary purpose is to protect the blower fan from dust, dirt, pet hair, etc.
If you’ve ever noticed loud noises coming from the furnace, a clogged air filter or blower motor may be to blame.
Additionally, replacing the furnace filter can improve your indoor air quality. Investing in a higher-quality filter has the most benefits. Look for a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
2. Keep the Area Around the HVAC System Clean
Part of your routine furnace maintenance should be to check the intake and exhaust pipes outside the home to ensure there are no blockages. Examples of what to look for include snow, leaves, bird nests, and other debris.
A blocked vent can cause carbon monoxide to build up. In the most severe cases, this can result in carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause tissue damage and even death. Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, so you may not even notice it until it’s too late.
That’s why it’s crucial to make regular checks part of your to-do list and keep the area around your system clear.
Additionally, blockages around the vents will decrease the efficiency of your system and make it work harder, which raises your energy bills. When your furnace has to work harder, it puts extra stress on the internal parts of the system and can lead to overheating or a breakdown.
3. Perform a Home Energy Audit
The more tightly sealed your home is, the better it keeps heat inside. As a result, your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard.
You can perform a DIY home energy assessment by looking for air leaks, checking insulation, and so on. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of regularly performing an audit, so you’re comfortable with these basic but essential home maintenance tasks.
However, you can also call in a professional to conduct a more in-depth energy audit. They’ll have information and advice you can use to make improvements to your house and reduce your heating costs.
Check your local utility company to see if they offer free or discounted assessments to customers.
4. Clear Household Vents
Your furnace only works well when there is sufficient airflow and circulation throughout the entire heating system. That means you can’t block any vents in the house.
Go around the home and check all your vents to ensure they’re open and clear of any obstructions. Move furniture around if you have to, or consider getting air vent deflectors that can direct airflow where you want it.
While you’re at it, consider getting your air ducts cleaned. Dust, debris, and particles can accumulate inside your ductwork, as well as vermin and mold. Scheduling periodic cleaning can improve indoor air quality.
5. Schedule a Yearly Tune-Up
Scheduling yearly maintenance prevents costly furnace repairs down the line. An experienced technician will look both inside and outside your unit for any problems, such as loose or broken parts.
During a typical tune-up, you can expect a technician to perform the following:
- Looking for wear and tear on internal parts
- Testing airflow, thermostat, pilot light, gas burners, etc.
- Cleaning blower, coils, fan blade, and drain line
- Lubricating moving parts
- Checking connections
- Repairing or replacing parts
An HVAC technician knows what to look for, and they can get inside your unit without causing any damage. That’s why it’s a good idea to schedule a routine tune-up at least once a year rather than trying to check everything yourself.
The benefits of a furnace tune-up include extending the lifespan of the unit, increased efficiency, and avoiding frequent HVAC repairs.
6. Consider Getting an Upgrade
All furnaces reach the end of their lifespan eventually. On average, they last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. So, if it’s approaching that point or if you’ve had your furnace for longer, you may want to consider an upgrade.
There are several benefits to upgrading your system. For one, you don’t have to worry about it breaking down in the middle of a cold Colorado winter.
For another, newer models are much more energy-efficient, which can save you money on your heating bills.
Heater and boiler efficiency is measured using annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) values. High-efficiency systems have a 90% to 98.5% AFUE.
These models create more heat while using less energy. That can help with your heating bill, but it’s also highly beneficial to the environment and can reduce your impact.
Do You Need Furnace Maintenance in Castle Rock?
As a homeowner, keeping up with regular furnace maintenance will help you extend the lifespan of your system. Use these tips to stay on top of it and prevent costly repairs.
If you need furnace maintenance or repair here in Castle Rock, CO, Doctor Fix It Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric can help. We provide Colorado residents with heating, cooling, duct cleaning, and other key services to keep their homes comfortable year-round.
Schedule an appointment with us today!