Before Your Crank Up the Heat, Take These Steps First
It won’t be long until the nip in the air turns downright frosty and has you reaching for the thermostat. Before you put your furnace on the task of making you toasty, take a preventative approach. Doing so may not only help to make sure your furnace and heating systems are running efficiently (saving you money!) but also ward off the potential breakdown in the midst of a cold spell.
Furnace First Steps
Clean it: Dirt, grime, and other residue can collect in your furnace, even when it’s not in use. To help your furnace run at it’s best, as well as keep the interior of your home free from air pollutants, clean it before using. Use a brush attachment and vacuum to remove any debris. Also, replace the air filter and clear the vents throughout your home.
Inspect it: Cracks in the blower belt, loose duct work, or air escaping openings can cause your furnace to work harder than it needs to, which reduces its life while also potentially increasing your energy bills. If you’re familiar with the inner workings of your furnace, conduct a thorough inspection to make sure everything is in proper working order. If this is foreign territory, hire a trusted and skilled professional to service your furnace instead.
Free it: Your furnace can only work at its best if airflow to the unit is not obstructed. Clear away any objects that might stand in the way of accessible areas, including boxes, rags, or laundry baskets. Remove flammable items, such as cleaning products, into another area to avoid fire and other property destruction.
Flush it: Drain lines running from the furnace allowing water to escape the unit can become gunked up with residue, which can lead to a clog. Using a bleach and water solution, flush the drain hose to keep it free and clear.
Test it: You don’t want to be without heat when you need it most. Instead of waiting for freezing temps, test your furnace while the weather is still decent to allow yourself enough repair time should a problem present itself. While testing, make sure your furnace turns on and off without complication. Check registers and vents for adequate airflow, making sure the rooms farthest from the furnace are as warm as those closest to the furnace. Listen for sounds in the furnace that could be due to a broken or worn part or loose duct work. If something doesn’t seem right, bring in a professional to check it out.
Help it: Your furnace can only do so much work to provide the heat; it needs a helping hand from you home to keep the interior comfy and cozy. That means replacing old windows that allow cold air in, or at the very least sealing off air leaks around windows, doors, ducts, and fireplaces. Also, consider upgrading the insulation in your home to avoid letting heat escape through your roof, which can lead to other winter disasters, such as ice damming.
The life expectancy for most furnaces range between 15 and 20 years, and given the costly $3K to $6K investment, it’s in your best interest to get as many years out of your system as you can. Make regular maintenance a priority when it comes to heating your home effectively. Do the work yourself, or bring in a licensed, qualified heating technician at least once a year to provide a checkup and basic tune-up.
Having your HVAC duct system cleaned and maintained on a regular basis is key to keeping your commercial building clean and safe from harmful pollutants. Call A&J Property Restoration for a free estimate on cleaning your duct work.