The winter months are once again upon us, and that means firing up your heating and keeping warm inside. Unfortunately, that also means the risk of having a substantial heating repair is also here again. And those repairs never come at a good time, like when the weather is warm. Rather, it is when it is the coldest, and you need the heat the most.
Fortunately, you do not have to suffer these dreaded repairs.
We contacted a local heating business owner of https://nosweatexperts.com/heating-repair-farmers-branch-tx/; he guided some tips. If you follow these seven tips, you can cut your risks of needing an emergency repair, saving your wallet, and staying safe.
Tip 1: Change Your Air Filters
One of the best, yet often overlooked, things you can do for your furnace is to change your air filters regularly. While you may not need to change them as often, you should check them every 30 days to inspect their condition.
When the air filter clogs, it prevents air from moving through your system properly. It is this airflow that your system uses to do its job. Unfortunately, it is not just restricting the flow that comes through your vents when they get clogged.
Rather, when there is a restriction, it puts a strain on every component of the system. Over time, that strain reduces the service life and increases the chance of needing to replace worn-out components.
Tip 2: Have Regular Maintenance Visits
Anything preventative seems to take the back seat for a lot of people. This includes your health as well as vehicles, your home, and more. Like many other things in life, it is preventative maintenance that reduces the risk of more serious problems.
When a professional HVAC technician maintains your heating system, they are looking to make sure everything is running optimally. If they find something suboptimal, they can either fix it or alert you to the need to repair it. This prevents it from cascading into a much larger problem.
Some of the common things included in a maintenance visit include:
- Cleaning the heat exchanger and circulating fan
- Checking the fans are mounted securely
- Oiling fan bearings
- Inspecting the electrical connections
- Testing the system
- Checking for carbon monoxide leaks
- Looking for other signs of early wear
Tip 3: Keep An Eye On Dirt
Dirt is more than an annoyance in a home. Sure, it can cause allergies and other health problems, but what does this having to do with your heating system?
The more dirt that is in your home, the more strain you end up putting on your system. We already discussed the consequences of adding strain to your system.
The easiest way to keep the dirt out of your heating system is to maintain a regular cleaning scheduling, including dusting and vacuuming. While you are vacuuming, be sure to keep an eye on your HEPA filter and collection bag. Both of these are notorious for spewing additional contaminants back into the air.
Tip 4: Pay Attention To Small Changes
Small changes are very subtle, but can be a big saver when it comes to keeping your furnace running well. In fact, many people look back and see the subtle changes they had dismissed, only causing a bigger problem.
Some of the common changes you may easily dismiss include:
- Lower air volume through your register
- Cooler air than you are used to
- Your furnace running for longer periods of time
- Your furnace running for shorter periods of time
- Higher than usual heating bills
When you notice these, be sure to contact a professional HVAC technician to evaluate the cause.
Tip 5: Watch Your Settings
Your thermostat can be a huge strain on your overall heating system. There is of course the simple keeping good batteries in it and making sure it is calibrated properly.
However, what is more important for everyone are the temperature settings. It is tempting when you have been outside with the kids or coming home from work to bump up the temperature. This has a bigger impact than raising your heating costs.
Every degree you increase your temperature setting puts additional strain on your system. The bigger the difference between the temperature outside and the temperature inside, the more your furnace has to work.
Instead of raising up the temperature high enough to run a hot yoga studio from your living room, try adding a layer of clothing. A nice comfortable sweater and some slippers will save you money in both energy and repairs.
Tip 6: Manage The Humidity In Your Home
Most people think of humidity and think of the summer. However, humidity plays an important role over the winter as well, both for your heating system as well as for your health.
Over the winter, the natural humidity is lower. As your furnace runs, it also removes moisture from the air. This makes dust and dirt lighter and will lead back to your furnace. It also makes it more likely to cause health issues.
The ideal humidity to keep everything working well, to protect your health, and to keep the dirt down is between 30% and 50%. You may want to consider adding a whole-house humidifier to your system to help keep this where it should be.
Tip 7: Keep An Eye On The Age Of Your Heating System
As much as we would love for a furnace to be a lifetime investment, the reality is they do wear out. The average life of a furnace is between about 15 to 20 years. The better you maintain your unit, the longer it is going to last.
That means that if your furnace is nearing the expected service life, you should consider scheduling a replacement. You ensure you will not be left in the cold if you plan for it and schedule it rather than waiting for it to fail.
You also have time to review your options and ensure you get a new furnace that is exactly what you need and want. If you wait for the emergency, then you are left with what you can get quickly to keep you safe.
A good course of action is to talk with your trusted HVAC technician during your annual fall maintenance. They can give you an idea of the overall condition of your unit and when you may want to look at a replacement.