Keeping Your Furnace Working Efficiently
A strong furnace will function without incident for many decades, but there are a few things you can do to assure that happens. Following we’ll briefly explore five tips that any homeowner should take to assure the heating apparatus in their home always functions the way it was intended to.
1. Has it Inspected When First You Encounter It?
When you move into the property, and actually before you sign the mortgage papers, you want to have the whole home inspected.
That includes the furnace. Have home inspectors take a look at it and give you their opinion. Consider this: furnaces that predate the modern era still work; they just use solid fuels as their heat source.
Old furnaces may still work fine. Here’s a history of comfort heating to give you an idea of its technological trajectory over the last several hundred years. A fireplace in the home is essentially a furnace that burns on solid fuels, so is a wood-burning stove. These types of furnaces can outlast people.
Gas furnaces can, similarly, stand the test of time; as can radiators. Electric heating is new, but it’s conceivable they can last a long while as well.
The point is: to have your heating option inspected before you fully move in. Has it been tested? Turn on the gas, light the pilot light, see if it “fires up”, and whether it actually heats the home.
If it’s working, excellent. We’ll go over how its operation may be augmented or enhanced shortly. If it’s not working, you know right away you either need to repair or replace it.
2. Use the Furnace as Proscribed by Manufacturers
All technology has a certain range of specifications defining proper use. You want to make sure you remain within that range. That means not using the furnace in ways that aren’t proscribed by its manufacturers. Know the limitations of the device, and its intended use, and remain within those boundaries.
3. Contact Professionals for Periodic Maintenance
You might as well do this when you move in: contact a local professional and have them come to do maintenance service on your unit.
For example, furnace repair by Mister Quik Home Service is convenient and straightforward, and they can perform general maintenance as well, assuring your unit functions as it should throughout the long cold winter.
4. Read and Follow Manual Directives for DIY Service
If you’ve just installed a furnace, it should come with a manual that tells you when it’s time to perform certain maintenance steps like cleaning the flue. If you’re willing to get your hands slightly dirty, you can do all the maintenance yourself and save contacting experts except in emergencies.
Or, you can just let the experts handle that sort of stuff. Whatever you do, be sure you follow the manual’s advice.
5. Be Sure to Change Thermostat Batteries When Necessary
Your thermostat, for whatever reason, is unlikely to be plugged into the electricity of your home. Generally, thermostats run on two AAA or AA batteries. Now, it’s different per house. Modern homes may integrate thermostats, but older ones don’t.
What you’ll need to do is remove the thermostat from the wall carefully, pop out the back, and switch out the batteries every couple of years—follow manufacturer instructions to avoid breaking something, look them up online if you don’t have them in hand.
If you neglect to change the batteries, then two things may happen. One, as the batteries go out, false readings will kick the furnace on and off in ways that are bad for its functionality overall. Two, your home will get colder or hotter than it needs to owe to improper management of forced-air heating.
This can lead to unnecessarily high bills, or it could lead to your home incidentally freezing, which has a domino effect related to the water in your pipes that can be very expensive to fix.
There are fail-safes; it’s best not to rely on them solely. A good rule of thumb is switching out the batteries at strategic intervals so you’re not surprised when said batteries decide to quit.
Keeping Your Home Warm and Comfortable
Change the batteries on the thermostat when the time is right, follow the manual to perform DIY maintenance tasks at home as it’s possible for you, contact professionals to obtain reliable maintenance at intervals as needed, be sure the unit is being used by the manufacturer specifications, and have it inspected when first you come to own it.
Follow these tips and your furnace will remain functional continuously, and you may even be able to catch what would be big problems before they get started.