Homeowner Tips: Extending Your Heating System Longevity
For being safe and comfortable throughout a long St. Louis winter, your furnace is your home’s MVP. That is one reason a heating system is one of the most important investments you can make in your home. A new, quality furnace is not usually cheap. And so you want to make sure you protect your investment and ensure a long heating system longevity.
How long can you expect your home’s furnace to work well and efficiently? The average gas furnace lasts 15 to 20 years, but can work for a couple of decades. But this assumes that the unit was installed properly and received ongoing proper maintenance. Without the regular attention, though, that furnace may experience a premature end to its service life.
Tips to Help Your Furnace Last Longer
Follow these six tips to help make sure your furnace meets or exceeds the average lifespan:
Program Your Thermostat
It’s easy to set your thermostat for the season and then forget about it. Unfortunately, this adds strain to your system and raises your heating expenses. Keeping the same temperature all day long is not how to achieve the highest efficiency for your system.
You can save 10% on your heating expenses by using your thermostat’s programming feature. To achieve this, you’ll need to lower your temperature by 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours each day.
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you can have one installed to work with your existing heating and cooling system. Contact Indoor Comfort Team to get a new programmable thermostat installed for your home. We can walk you through how these wonderful devices work. And we can show you how to program it for maintaining comfort while reducing cost and energy use.
Change Your Furnace Filter
While your air contains contaminants that can quickly clog HVAC components, the furnace filter mitigates the situation. However, that also means that your filter clogs quickly, which restricts the air flowing into your system.
To keep your system from straining from low airflow, plan to change your filter regularly. If your furnace uses a 1- or 2-inch filter, expect to change it about every three months. However, you may not need to change them as frequently if you have thicker filters.
Schedule Annual Maintenance
Keeping your system operating effectively all year long requires regular furnace maintenance. Changing your furnace filter is just one aspect of maintenance, but there’s so much more to do. We suggest getting a professional heating maintenance check every fall.
During this maintenance inspection, an HVAC technician will clean the circulating fan and heat exchanger of the contaminants that do get through. They’ll tighten the mounting bolts on the circulating fan, balance the fan and lubricate the motor bearings.
They’ll also check all the electrical connections to ensure they are tight and not causing additional electrical resistance. Finally, they’ll test the system to ensure each step of the cycle runs properly. You can then schedule repairs for any issues they find before it causes strain or damage to your system.
Utilize Ceiling Fans
The hot air that comes from your vents moves upward. That means the hotter air tends to rest near the ceiling where you can’t enjoy it. Your ceiling fans bring that warm air back down, helping the furnace to more effectively heat the livable space.
You have to change the direction the fan spins to draw the heat down without also creating a cooling effect. Flip the switch on the side of the fan to make the blades spin counterclockwise, which draws cool air up. You’ll only need to run the fan on low to prevent creating too much air movement.
Add Attic Insulation
The better your home keeps the heat inside, the less your furnace has to work. One of the most effective methods of improving this is to add more insulation to your attic.
St. Louis is in climate zone 4, which recommends having 13 to 14 inches of attic insulation rated to at least R38. If you inspect your attic and find you have less, consider adding some additional insulation this year. This will reduce both your cycle lengths and frequency, cutting both your heating expenses and system strain.
Get Furnace Repairs Quickly
When your hvac systems have a component that’s not working properly, it causes extra strain on the system. The result is usually extra heat, which causes everything to wear more quickly. In the end, this means less service life for the entire system.
If you suspect your furnace has a minor problem, don’t wait. Have a repair service technician investigate and resolve the issue quickly to prevent bigger repairs. You can delay the time to replace your home’s gas or electric furnace and air conditioner.
Keep your furnace running strong for its entire service life. Want to make sure you are helping your furnace last longer? Call to schedule your furnace repair appointment with the experts at Indoor Comfort Team today.