In winter’s cold temperatures, having indoor heating is a must if you want to be safe and comfortable in your home. However, all appliances are vulnerable to problems, and your furnace is no exception. In order to get the best and most reliable performance from your heating unit, regular maintenance is key. Neglecting certain areas of furnace care can result in sub-standard heating, abnormally high energy costs and even damage to the unit itself. If you want to stay cozy and avoid problems this winter, here are some tips for keeping your heating unit working properly.
Keep Outdoor Vents Clear
If your home’s furnace vents to the outside, it’s essential that you keep this clear of obstructions. This time of year, snow drift can accumulate near the vent and block the flow of exhaust. However, this isn’t so much a functionality issue as it is a safety hazard. When exhaust can’t leave, it will be dispersed throughout your house instead. This can result in a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that can prove fatal in high enough levels. While you’re clearing your sidewalks and brushing off your car, take a few minutes to clear the snow away from your exterior vents, too.
Change Your Filters
You should make sure to change your furnace filters as often as indicated by your unit’s manufacturer. These filters are responsible for cleaning the air from your furnace, and they can become clogged surprisingly fast. A full filter won’t allow as much warm air to pass through, which means you may experience inadequate heating. Furthermore, any allergens trapped in the fibers are released back into the air, worsening your allergies and making you feel miserable.
Schedule Professional Maintenance
At least twice per year, it’s recommended to have a heating technician come to your home to inspect the unit and perform routine maintenance. The technician will use this time to clean all of the components, inspect them for potential issues and replace them if necessary. By adhering to a regular maintenance and inspection schedule, you can reduce the chances that you’ll have to deal with an inconvent furnace outage on a cold winter’s night.
If you want cleaner air and a more efficient heating system, then consider having your ducts cleaned at least every three years. Over time, ducts will collect large amounts of dust and debris. This reduces space and increases resistance, which cuts down on the flow of warm air throughout your home. By keeping them clean, you’ll experience higher efficiency and better air movement. In addition, a duct cleaning will also decrease concentrations of airborne allergens in your home. It’s important to keep in mind that this is a job for properly equipped professionals and should never be attempted by yourself.
Be Keen to Problems
Part of good furnace maintenance means being able to recognize when things aren’t working properly. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these signs and to keep an eye out for them. Stay alert for knocking or grinding sounds, uneven heating, electrical issues or anything else out of the ordinary. If you notice one or more of these signs, call a professional heating company right away so they can diagnose and fix the problem.