Maintaining your furnace is a very important component in keeping your house comfortable and safe. Furnace maintenance involves a thorough inspection and tune up of your heating system, and is essential for keeping your home comfortable, even if everything appears to be in working order.
Annual HVAC maintenance can keep your heating system running efficiently. However, if you want to maintain optimal air quality in your home-or if anyone in your home is immunocompromised or has respiratory issues-it’s recommended that you get tune-ups more often, about two to four times a year. Studies have shown that indoor levels of airborne pollutants can be two to five times higher than outdoor levels. (More than 100 times higher in some extreme cases). This can be particularly concerning if you or anyone in your home suffers from asthma or any other respiratory issues. It is essential to make sure that air filters are regularly cleaned, and replaced as necessary.
Though we may not always be aware of it, we are all frequently exposed to a variety of substances that we would rather not breathe in. Common household allergens are typically things like dust, pet dander, dust mites, pollen, and in some more serious cases, mold. If you notice a musty odor in your home and you’re concerned about mold, it’s probably a good idea to get your air ducts professionally cleaned. Preventive maintenance helps ensure that the air pumping through your vents is as clean and well-filtered as possible.
Preventative HVAC maintenance is also essential in keeping your home safe. If you’re on holidays away from home and your heat stops working during a cold snap, you may come home to a very cold, severely damaged house. Having your heat stop working in the middle of winter can have devastating consequences like water damage, frozen or burst pipes, and sometimes worse.
Most furnaces are gas-burning- meaning they produce carbon monoxide (CO), which is an odorless, colourless, tasteless gas. If the unit is operating properly, the gas is directed through the furnaces flue pipe and is vented out of the home. If your furnace develops a crack in the heat exchanger or flue pipes, it can cause a carbon monoxide leak into the air in your home. If a carbon monoxide leak develops, it can very quickly put you and your household in danger. It is essential to have annual maintenance done on your furnace to avoid any potential CO leaks because even at low concentrations, exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal. A regular HVAC maintenance checkup includes a carbon monoxide test which would detect any possible leaks. It’s also a good idea to install CO detectors, that warn you when there are high levels of carbon monoxide in your home.
What Does A Furnace Tune-Up Include?
- Inspecting the vent system and removing any blockages
- Checking the burner and flame sensor
- Inspecting the thermostat and calibrating it as needed
- Inspecting electrical connections
- Examining the belts for any signs of damage or cracks
- Checking the air filter
- Cleaning/replacing air filter as needed
- Checking the heat exchanger for signs of damage or corrosion
- Examining and cleaning the blower, removing any debris
- Checking the blower motor and testing its amp draw
- Inspecting thermocouple
- Examining fuel lines for potential leaks
- Checking and testing the gas pressure, burner, and the pilot.
Some furnaces are better suited for use in cold environments than others, and we all know that here in Winnipeg, you want to be sure that your furnace is going to survive the cold, frigid winter months. Nobody wants to wait until their furnace dies completely in the middle of winter to replace it. Most electric furnaces have an average lifespan of about 20 to 30 years, whereas gas furnaces usually need to be replaced after about 10-20 years. However, even if your furnace hasn’t quite reached the end of its life expectancy and you’re experiencing significant problems or requiring frequent repairs, it might be time to consider replacing it altogether. If you want to extend the lifespan of your furnace, you’ll need to perform regular maintenance such as changing the filters, cleaning the burners, and getting a professional to perform regular inspections and a tune-up before winter hits.
Signs That It May Be Time To Replace Your Furnace:
- Making unusual noises (rattling, buzzing).
- High humidity in your home.
- Starts turning off and on more frequently.
- Heating bills skyrocketing.
- You can see rust, cracks or corrosion around the furnace.
- Some rooms in the house are warmer than others.
- Cracked heat exchanger.
Some of these signs might only mean that maintenance or repairs are needed, however if they are becoming a regular occurrence, it may be time to replace the furnace entirely. The ideal time for furnace maintenance service is around the end of summer/beginning of fall, before winter hits and you’re running your system on a daily basis. Once the technician has inspected and assessed your HVAC system, they will know whether or not it’s time to get your furnace replaced.
Newer furnaces are energy efficient which improves the indoor air quality, and adds comfort by heating at various speeds and adjusting the heat flow through your home. High efficiency furnaces have the potential to save you a lot of money on heating bills in the long term. Energy efficiency only means the amount of energy that the furnace turns into heat- not the rate at which it heats your home. An electric furnace is more energy efficient than a gas furnace; however, gas furnaces usually heat homes much more quickly than electric. This is because the heat produced is hotter than the heat produced by electric coils. Also, the cheaper cost of natural gas makes gas furnaces the preferred option in colder areas.
Your furnace is likely one of the most important appliances in your home, and replacing it is a big decision; so you’ll want to factor in the whole process when planning a new furnace installation. You’ll need to know if your current HVAC system needs any upgrades or alterations, and it’s important to choose the right person or company to take care of the installation process. When you call The Pleasant Plumber Inc. you can trust that our technicians will take care of you, and all of your heating and cooling needs.