Whether the furnace in your Conroe area home is brand new or relatively ancient, maximizing the life span of your furnace will save you a considerable amount of money on replacement costs, as well as maintain the efficiency of your current system to lower your utility bills and extend its life.
The typical furnace has an average life span of 15 years. With regular maintenance, your furnace may last as long as 20 years, while a poorly-maintained system may last only 13 years. Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine the life span of your furnace, since it’s your actions that will either extend or shorten its life. These tips will help you get the most out of your furnace and ensure its longevity.
Schedule Preventive Maintenance Each Fall
Without regular annual tuneups, your furnace will most likely fail prematurely. Dust builds up on the essential components, decreasing efficiency and increasing the wear on your system by making it work harder to keep you comfortable. Wires and terminals corrode, gas and electrical connections become loose and the motor wears out sooner due to friction for lack of lubrication.
Before you turn your furnace on each fall, have it tuned up by a qualified HVAC professional. The benefits are far-reaching and include lower heating costs, longer system life, safer operation, fewer breakdowns and fewer emissions that harm the environment.
While tune-up tasks will vary among different contractors, a reputable HVAC company will ensure these essential tasks are included in your furnace inspection:
- Lubricate the moving parts to prevent friction.
- Check for potential dangerous carbon monoxide (CO) leaks.
- Inspect the ventilation system and measure the flue gases to ensure they meet system specifications.
- Tighten electrical and gas connections.
- Clean and inspect the heat exchanger, blower assembly and other essential components.
- Measure the motor’s current and voltage.
- Test the system controls to make sure it cycles properly.
- Check the burner combustion and gas pressure.
- Inspect the wiring and terminals for corrosion and apply nonconductive coating if necessary.
- Inspect your ductwork for obstructions and loose joints that can impede the airflow.
- Check your thermostat to ensure it’s accurate.
If you have an air conditioner and a coil attached to your furnace, your springtime air conditioner tuneup will ensure the coils don’t become dirty and clog the condensate drain, resulting in moisture dripping onto the heat exchanger of your furnace. This can cause rust and corrosion and lower its life expectancy.
Replace Your Furnace Filter When It’s Dirty
A dirty air filter is one of the major factors in lowering the life span of your furnace. A dirty filter impedes the airflow to the furnace, making it work harder to compensate, resulting in undue wear. It also allows dust to enter your system and coat essential components, causing their premature failure.
Check your furnace’s air filter every month. When it’s clogged with dust, replace it with a good-quality, pleated filter. Check the specifications of your furnace before upgrading your filter. It’s essential to balance airflow with air cleaning capabilities when choosing an air filter.
Maintain Optimum Humidity in Your Home
High humidity in your home can cause your heat exchanger to rust. Maintain a level of humidity between the optimum 30 to 50 percent. A whole-house humidifier will help you maintain proper humidity levels and will benefit you in other ways as well, including making your home feel warmer in the winter, helping to prevent viral infections and preventing static electricity.
Help Your Furnace Do Its Job Efficiently
There are several things you can do to help your furnace heat your home without working harder than it was designed to. Take a load off of your furnace with these tips:
- Seal the air leaks in your home. The infiltration of cold air and the escape of conditioned air makes your system work harder to compensate.
- Seal and insulate ducts. Leaky ductwork accounts for up to 40 percent of lost warm air, which your furnace has to replace. Insulate ducts that run through unconditioned spaces.
- Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. Warm air rises, and reversed fans on the lowest setting will re-distribute it throughout the room, keeping your warmer and reducing the number of cycles your furnace goes through each day.
- Install a programmable thermostat to save money on energy bills and prevent your furnace from working hard when no one’s at home.
For more expert tips about expanding the life span of your furnace, please feel free to contact us at Conroe Air. We proudly serve the HVAC needs of homeowners in and around Conroe.