Furnace No-No’s to keep in mind
You probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the heating and cooling systems in your home, despite the fact that they account for up to 54 percent of total utility costs. When these systems are working well, you don’t need to pay attention to them, but if you ignore them completely, you could be asking for a ton of trouble down the road and some unexpected expenses, too.
Let’s take a look at some basic no-nos when it comes to furnace installation, maintenance, and repair that every homeowner should keep in mind.
1. Neglect filters.
Like most expensive investments, furnaces work best when they are properly maintained. Something as simple as changing a filter on a monthly basis can make a huge impact on the overall efficiency and health of your furnace over time. Basic furnace filters last about a month, while high-efficiency models will last closer to three months, but always check the packaging for instructions. Set a recurring alarm on your phone, tie a string around your finger, or write it on your family calendar for the entire year so that you never forget.
2. Ignore strange noises.
It is normal for furnaces to make noise as part of their normal operations, but if you notice that those sounds are getting louder, it may be time to call a professional for an inspection. Some specific warning sounds to heed include scraping metal, whining or squealing, and a distinct bang or pop when the furnace starts up. These signs point to loose, broken, or worn-out parts that will need to be replaced to help your furnace operate correctly. Ignoring these noises could result in even more damage and costly repairs. As a good rule of thumb, if a noise is noticeable to you, it is probably worth getting checked out.
3. Put up with discomfort.
If you are spending more time fiddling with your thermostat and moving from room to room to stay warm, you should call a furnace professional to inspect your unit. The problem could be as simple as a malfunctioning thermostat, which is definitely not worth being uncomfortable over. You pay a lot to keep your family warm and comfortable, so make sure your furnace is working properly to live up to that monthly investment.
4. Underestimate importance of scheduled maintenance.
Changing your filters is a good start, but there are other maintenance details of furnaces that deserve attention, too. In lieu of obtaining your own furnace repair license, research and retain a professional contractor or company to make scheduled visits to your home to perform a checkup on your unit. The best part: these companies take the guesswork out of scheduled maintenance for you by calling or emailing you reminders when it is time to have them back. These professionals will also give you a heads up for likely repairs in the future and a timeline so you can prepare financially.
5. Wait too long to shop.
The basic lifespan of a furnace is 16 to 20 years, but you should be pricing them out well in advance. If you wait to look for a replacement when your furnace finally quits, you will be in a hurry and may not end up with the right model for your home’s needs. Shopping early also gives you some time to save up for the upfront funds that go into purchasing an energy efficient model, saving you a lot in utility costs over its lifespan. When given the opportunity to shop around for a home or car, you certainly take advantage of it. Apply the same concept to a new furnace.
6. Install furnaces without professional help.
The furnaces that tend to last the longest, offer the best efficiency, and need the fewest repairs are usually installed by professionals. These experts know how to position and hook up furnaces so that they will operate optimally while also providing safety and reliability for your family There are really too many hazards associated with DIY furnace installation to list, but they include everything from disconnecting the old one, performing some heavy lifting, and hooking up the vents incorrectly. Save yourself the money and some peace of mind by calling a furnace installation expert to do the job for you.
Homeowners today often take the basic systems of their houses for granted, heating and cooling included. Having a temperature-controlled home is a basic right of homeownership today but should be treated as a privilege. Proper care and maintenance along with guidance from a trusted furnace professional like Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating will keep your furnace running safely and smoothly for the duration of its lifespan.
For over 45 years, Bob Jenson has been providing quality heating and air services to the San Diego community.
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