If you treat your furnace well and care for it properly, it will provide great results. Similarly, if you make an effort to keep it healthy, it will reward you with a long, productive lifespan. On average, household heating systems will last for around 10 to 15 years. However, with the proper upkeep and maintenance routines, you can realistically get yours to last for closer to 20. With those few extra years, you’ll have time to save up extra money and prepare your home for a furnace replacement. Ultimately, achieving this is about developing proactive habits and understanding the factors that affect appliance life expectancy.
1. Never Skip a Professional Tune-Up
Yearly furnace maintenance is always a wise investment, no matter the age and condition of your heating system. If you hire one of our skilled technicians at Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning for a tune-up, they’ll clean out and inspect the appliance. Cleaning out the system will allow it to perform more smoothly and efficiently, keeping you comfortable and your monthly energy bills in check. Plus, that smoother, cleaner operation will make breakdowns and serious malfunctions far less likely.
Inspecting the heating system will also allow your expert technician the opportunity to weed out any potential or ongoing problems. If they get a whiff of an impending equipment issue, they’ll let you know about it, and you can decide how to proceed. In some cases, there will be preventative measures they can take to ensure that the problem doesn’t get the chance to develop. The fewer malfunctions and breakdowns your furnace suffers, the longer its life expectancy will be, and the more money you’ll save.
2. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Even if you take amazing care of your furnace, it can only withstand so much wear and tear before it runs out of steam. So, whenever you can avoid putting unnecessary mileage on it, you’ll be helping to extend its lifespan. One excellent way to regularly achieve this is to install a programmable thermostat.
If you ever unintentionally leave your heater running when you sleep, go to work, or run errands, those hours add up to progress the appliance’s deterioration. Plus, it wastes costly energy. With a programmable thermostat, you won’t ever need to worry about these issues again. You can adjust the thermostat to your schedule so that it will automatically turn off during the hours that you’re sleeping or at work. Additionally, you can program in your preferred household temperature. That way, your heating system will shut off on its own after reaching said temperature. Over the years, giving your furnace all of that extra rest will make a massive difference, both in its health and life expectancy.
3. Regularly Replace Your HVAC Air Filter
If your furnace is forced to operate with a dirty or clogged air filter, it will result in lots of extra, harmful strain being put on its equipment. When the air filter is packed with particles of dust, dirt, and other contaminants, it gets more and more difficult for the system to pull air through. As a result, it requires far more effort and energy to circulate hot air around the household. To make things worse, many of those airborne pollutants will end up getting cycled into the heating system, which will be detrimental to its performance and energy efficiency.
On average, pleated air filters should be replaced every three months, and fiberglass ones should be replaced every month. However, numerous factors can affect that timeframe, such as the time of year, number of pets, number of people living in the home, and size of the house. The important thing is that you make checking the filter part of your regular routine. That way, you can switch it out for a new one whenever it’s necessary.
4. Invest in Regular Duct Cleaning
Many homeowners fail to realize the impact that the health of their ductwork can have on their furnaces. Over time, the inside of your ducts will inevitably accumulate dirt, dust, and debris. The more of these particles there are in your ducts, the less open space your furnace has to push conditioned air through. In addition to causing ineffective or uneven household heating, this also puts extra stress on the heating system. The appliance has to increase its air pressure just to do its job adequately; the unit’s efficiency will suffer, and mechanical failures will become more likely.
At Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, our skilled technicians will do a thorough job of cleaning out your ductwork. Additionally, they’ll use the opportunity to inspect the air ducts for any leaks or other damage. Leaky ducts can be very damaging to your furnace as the heating appliance must work hard to compensate for all of the hot air that escapes. If possible, you should schedule one of these duct cleaning appointments each year.
5. Install Attic Insulation
The more heat that your home loses regularly, the harder your furnace has to work. So, anything you can do to prevent escaped warmth will increase the heating unit’s life expectancy. Because hot air always rises, it’s natural that much of the heat that your furnace creates will float up into your home’s attic. Much of it will linger at the top of the house, and if your roofing is damaged or deteriorating, quite a bit of warmth will likely leak out as well. Even if none of it actually escapes the home, any hot air collecting in your attic will be hot air that isn’t keeping your living space comfortable. As a result, your furnace will have to produce more of it to keep you warm.
If you have quality attic insulation installed, it will serve as a barrier for that hot air. Instead of accumulating in your attic and leaking through your roof, the vast majority of it will remain in your living areas, and your heating system won’t be pushed as hard. One effective option is spray foam insulation. It requires professional installation, but it’s completely waterproof and long-lasting.
6. Seal Up Your Leaks
Another effective way to prevent escaped heat is to search for and seal any air leaks in your home. Usually, the most common spots for these leaks will be near the edges of your doors and windows. Even the tiniest openings can make things more difficult for your furnace. If you don’t see any leaks, feel around with your hand for any moving airflow. If you do find any, thoroughly seal them with weather stripping and caulking from the hardware store.
At Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, we have offered top-notch heating, cooling, plumbing, and indoor air quality services in Sacramento, CA since 1989. We’re fully licensed, bonded, and EPA certified, and we maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Our expert technicians are highly skilled and trained; they have the knowledge and ability to work on all makes and models of appliances. Additionally, we’re proud to always put the client’s needs first, which is why we make a sincere effort to keep all of our services affordable. Our motto is to always be professional, polite, and punctual, and you’ll see that first-hand when you work with us. To schedule an appointment now, contact our offices at Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning.