The cold weather of the winter months is almost here, and if you’ve made the decision to purchase a brand-new furnace, you’ve done it at a great time. Having a new heating system that’s running smoothly and efficiently can make a monumental difference for your household when the weather gets chilly. That being said, to ensure that your new furnace isn’t wasting energy or at risk of breaking down, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind when taking care of the appliance.
1. Regular Maintenance
One of the most crucial things any homeowner can do to keep their furnace in great condition is to make sure that it gets regular check-ups and maintenance. It’s recommended that you have a professional technician, such as one of the experts on our team at Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, come give your furnace a tune-up at least once a year. By ensuring that your new furnace gets this routine maintenance, you can be confident that the appliance is using energy efficiently and heating your home effectively.
Your furnace has many components that are always working hard to keep your household warm. Over time, it’s inevitable that these components are going to become worn out, and any single one of them having a problem can become a major inconvenience. By having a trained technician come to inspect the furnace regularly, you can catch any of these potential problems ahead of time, and significantly lower the chances of a complete breakdown. Ultimately, investing in regular maintenance can help save you a significant amount of money in the long run.
2. Utilize Your Curtains
The less extra work that your furnace has to do, the longer its lifespan will be and the less likely it will be to have problems. If you’re deliberate about when you open and close your curtains, you can actually use them to help take the stress off of your heating system and even save more money on energy bills. By keeping your blinds open during the day and letting sunlight into your home, you can avoid needing your furnace to pull as much of the weight in providing heat. On the other side of things, by closing your blinds at night, you can help to prevent heat from escaping through your windows. When it comes to removing some of the workload from your furnace, every little bit can add up to make a significant difference.
3. Clean Out the Air Filter
The air filter within your furnace is very important as it prevents the appliance from getting clogged up with too much dust or debris. To help keep your new furnace running as smoothly as possible, it’s important to take the air filter out regularly and clean it.
There are certain factors that can affect how often you need to do this, such as whether or not you have pets and how clean of a house you keep, but the general recommendation is to do it at least once a month. It’s possible that upon inspection, you will notice that the filter is simply too dirty or clogged up to be cleaned effectively. In this case, you will need to replace it to avoid putting unnecessary strain on the furnace.
4. Use a Programmable Thermostat
Many people don’t realize how much difference a programmable thermostat can make in terms of lowering their energy bills and getting the most out of a heating system. There will be times when you don’t need your furnace to provide as much heat, and with a thermostat that allows you to manually set the temperature, you can use these occasions to give it a break.
For example, the daytime will typically be warmer than the evening, so you can turn the thermostat down in the morning and afternoon and then turn it back up at night when you need it. Additionally, many people find that they don’t need their home to be as warm when they’re sleeping. By turning the thermostat down 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit when you go to bed, you can potentially save up to 10% on your heating bills for the year.
5. Clean Out Your Vents
Just like your furnace’s air filter, it’s also wise to regularly clean out all of the vents that are spread out around your home. Your heating system relies on these vents to circulate air throughout the household, and if they become cluttered with dust and debris, it can force your furnace to exert more energy. To make sure you’re really being thorough, take the extra few minutes to remove your vent covers with a screwdriver, and use a long vacuum extension to fully clean each one out.
6. Clean the Furnace and Surrounding Area
As you can probably tell, keeping different areas clean around your household can go a long way toward getting the best results from your new furnace. In addition to the appliance’s air filter and your household vents, it’s also crucial to clean the area directly around the furnace, as well as the actual furnace itself.
For the furnace, make a point to remove the unit’s access panels, and if possible, use the vacuum extension once again to clean out the inside. Dirt or dust accumulating inside the chambers of the furnace can make it harder for it to run smoothly and efficiently. As for the direct area around the furnace, it’s a good idea to make sure there isn’t too much clutter in the appliance’s direct vicinity. Not only does this help lower the risk of potential fires, but it also allows the furnace to circulate air more freely.
7. Invest in a Humidifier
In addition to offering several potential health benefits, increasing the humidity level of the air in your home can also have benefits for your furnace. As you know, the air feels much colder during the winter months, but a lack of humidity can actually make it feel much more chilly than it actually is. That’s where a humidifier comes in.
By adding moisture to the air in your home, it actually makes it easier for heat to be transferred around, which, in turn, allows for your home to feel warmer without as much dependence on your furnace. Every time you can give your furnace a break, it makes problems and breakdowns less likely while also allowing it to run more efficiently.
You likely paid a significant amount of money for your brand-new furnace, so why wouldn’t you want to get the most out of that investment? By making the effort to practice proper and consistent furnace care, you can get the best possible results both in the short and long term. We at Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning have been offering reliable heating services to the greater Sacramento, CA, area for over 30 years. In addition to our heating repair, maintenance, and installation work, we also offer professional, affordable cooling services.
If you have any questions about keeping your furnace in the best condition possible or want to make an appointment for a routine inspection or tune-up, don’t hesitate to give us a call today.