It’s not uncommon to simply turn on your furnace for the first time in months and do nothing to get it ready for the Winter season, but is that recommended? Yes, your furnace will still function, but with a few simple tasks you can keep your monthly heating bill low, prevent a breakdown and even prolong the life of the unit.
Here are 4 simple ways to get your furnace ready for winter. If you have any questions or concerns about your furnace, always consult an HVAC technician!
1. Change the filter
At an absolute minimum, your furnace filter needs to be changed before the winter season. Changing your furnace filter before the season could save you up to 15% on your energy bill. These filters are very inexpensive and could be saving you hundreds of dollars per season. In addition, changing your filters on a regular basis prolongs the lifespan of your system prevents breakdowns, and keeps your furnace and vents clean.
2. Get a tune-up
Getting a professional tune-up is the most efficient way to get your furnace ready for the winter season. The technician will make sure the unit is clean, check for any necessary repairs, lubricate the blower motor, and get your unit running at its peak performance to save you money on your monthly bill. Every other tip on this list is taken care of during a standard furnace tune-up.
If the furnace is more than 15 years old, we highly recommend having an HVAC technician take a look at the unit before you run it for a full season. The older your furnace gets, the more repairs and cleaning it will need to keep up. A technician can clean the system and take care of any repairs to prevent an even more expensive repair or complete breakdown.
3. Test your thermostat
If you live in a city like Aurora, Colorado, chances are you have already switched between your air conditioner and furnace a few times before Winter hits. When you turn on your furnace for the first time in several months, make sure the flame ignites and is burning the gas being pumped into the unit. If there is no flame but the furnace is on, turn off your furnace immediately and call an HVAC technician.
4. Clean around and inside the unit
Make sure there is nothing being stored around the furnace and the area is free of dust and debris. Furnaces get very hot and having anything within 30 inches is a fire hazard.
Cleaning the inside of the unit is much more complicated, so if you’ve never done it before, we recommend talking to a professional. Keeping things like the blower motor, ignitor and sensor clean help your furnace run efficiently. If you have several pets or someone in your home has a compromised immune system, keeping the inside of the furnace clean is even more important.
Here in Colorado, we experience below freezing days and really put our furnaces to the test. Make sure your furnace is ready for the Winter season! Contact Grand Home Services online or give us a call for a furnace tune-up, cleaning, or even emergency repair.
Your furnace is showing signs of aging and use, but is it time for a replacement? Here are 6 common signs it might be time to replace your furnace. Separately these signs may not be enough reason to replace your furnace, but the more signs that you see, the more likely you need a new unit.
1) Your furnace is more than 15 years old
If well maintained, furnaces last between 15 and 20 years. If your furnace is more than 15 years old, chances are high it is nearing the end of its life. There is no reason to replace a functioning furnace that is just old, but if you are also seeing signs we list below, it may be time to get an estimate from an HVAC expert.
2) Your furnace frequently needs repairs
When furnaces are not well maintained or they are getting old, they will need more and more repairs as they near the need for replacement. If you’ve had several costly furnace repairs in one season, it’s probably time for a new unit. Before you enter another season full of repairs, add up the repair costs over the last two years and see if it’s cost efficient to buy a new furnace.
3) Your heating bill continues to increase
A variety of problems could be causing an increase in your energy bills, but if you get regular maintenance on your furnace, your bill should not be steadily increasing. A steady or sudden increase in your heating bill is often a sign of a furnace that is old and ready for replacement. Have an HVAC expert take a look at your furnace to determine whether you need a repair or replacement. In the long run, you could save a lot of money by keeping your monthly utilities bill low with a newer unit.
4) Your thermostat doesn’t seem to work
It might be time for a new furnace if you notice some spots in your home are much cooler than others and the thermostat doesn’t seem to match the temperature of your home. Furnaces are not only responsible for producing heat, but they should distribute heat throughout the home according to the temperature you set. This could also mean your ducts need cleaning or you need a new thermostat, so be sure to have an HVAC technician take a look.
5) Your furnace makes strange noises
Old furnaces tend to make noises when they run, but if they are unusual and loud, you should get the system checked out as soon as possible. Sometimes this can be fixed with a simple repair, but other times the repair is very expensive and a technician might recommend a new system.
6) Something looks wrong
If there is excess dust around your furnace or in your home, you see cracks or corrosion on the unit itself, or the flame in the furnace is yellow and not blue, it could mean you need a new unit. Signs like this depend on the age and maintenance of the unit, but often they mean an expensive repair or the need for a new furnace. In addition, all of these signs could signify a health hazard, so be sure to get an HVAC expert to take a look.
Replacing your furnace is quite expensive, so we recommend one cleaning/tune-up per year from a trained HVAC technician to prolong the life of the unit. If you see more than one sign listed above, it could be time to get a new unit. If you are not seeing these signs but a technician says you need a new unit, always get a second opinion! Click here for information on HVAC scams you should avoid.