Your heater does the crucial job of keeping you warm all winter, so the least you could do is return the favor by taking good care of it. The results you get from any heating system are going to be directly influenced by how proactive you are about maintaining it. If you can establish a few good habits and create the right environment for your furnace to thrive, your household will reap the rewards in the form of more consistent comfort, reduced heating costs, and potentially even several extra healthy years from the appliance.
1. Clean Your Ductwork and Vents
The harder your heater must work, the more its components become strained and worn. This means that the easier you can make it for your furnace to do its job, the healthier it will remain and the smoother its operation will be. However, if the air ducts and vents in your home are dirty and clogged, your heater must produce stronger air pressure to keep you warm. To keep your heating system healthy and keep your electrical bills reasonably low, avoid going too long without cleaning these important air channels. You can clean the vents yourself with a vacuum extension, but for the ducts, you may need to hire a ductwork professional. In addition to cleaning out your ducts, this trained professional will also be able to inspect them for any damage that could be affecting your HVAC system.
2. Practice Heat Conservation
One of the most common things that cause wear and tear for heaters is the need to compensate for lost heat. The more heat you can keep inside your house, the less extra work your furnace will have to do. One of the most effective ways to conserve heat is by eliminating any air leaks present within your home. You’ll usually find them around the edges of windows and doors, and you can either seal them up yourself or enlist a professional. Another good way to keep heat trapped inside is with the help of your curtains. Windows and glass doors tend to be a major source of escaped heat, but when you cover them up with curtains, it greatly minimizes the amount of warmth that’s lost. One more good measure to take is adding quality insulation to your attic. Heat rises, so having that extra barrier before it can reach your roof can go a long way toward taking stress off your heater.
3. Hire a Maintenance Professional
In just one routine maintenance visit, a heating technician can make a huge difference in the performance and efficiency of your heater. During the visit, the professional’s top priority will be to make any necessary adjustments to give the appliance a better opportunity to keep you warm consistently. These adjustments will also be aimed toward getting your furnace back to peak efficiency, which will be reflected in your monthly energy bills. Maintenance tune-ups are also about identifying any potential problems that may be forthcoming from the heating system. When a malfunction or breakdown catches you off guard, it will inevitably cause you a lot of stress and cost you a lot of money. However, if a technician can find indicators of an issue before it materializes, they might have the chance to take preventative measures that will save you a ton of hassle, discomfort, and money. The beginning of a new year is as good a time as any to make these maintenance visits a permanent part of your heater upkeep routine.
4. Keep a Clean Air Filter
Without a clean air filter, it’s extremely difficult for your heater to operate smoothly or efficiently. For effective operation, the heating system must be able to keep consistently pulling air through the filter. However, the more particles of dust and debris that accumulate on the filter, the more energy the heater must exert to keep doing its job. If you want to get good results from your furnace and keep it healthy for the long run, use the new year as motivation to create a habit of checking the filter regularly. You should check it once a month. Replace or clean the filter at the very least every three months. If it seems like there are a lot of dust and dirt particles, though, don’t take the risk of damaging your heater. Get rid of the dirty air filter and replace it with a new, clean one immediately.
5. Manage Your Heater’s Workload
On average, heating systems will last around 10 years before they begin to seriously decline. If you can avoid relying on the appliance too frequently, the odds of getting an extra three to five good years out of it will improve significantly. It’s tempting to have the thermostat always cranked up during the cold months, but it will be extremely beneficial if you can occasionally find other means of staying warm.
One easy option is putting on an extra layer of clothing occasionally when you’re just hanging out at home. You can also try turning your heater on for an hour or two at a time and then letting it rest for a while before you turn it on again. It’s also effective to get into the habit of lowering the thermostat by a few degrees when you go to sleep. Your blankets should keep you warm enough that you don’t need the heater running, and those seven or eight hours each night can really add up. Finally, the use of a ceiling fan can also help you warm up without putting pressure on your heater. As mentioned above, heat rises. However, with a ceiling fan running at a low speed, a lot of that heat will be pushed back toward the floor where it can warm you up.
6. Clean the Area Around Your Furnace
Wherever your heating system is in your home, make a point to clean the area in its direct vicinity. Not only can objects near your furnace be a dangerous fire hazard, but they can also make it more difficult for the appliance to circulate air. You will want to clean the area of dust, dirt, and debris, and you should also remove any random clutter or larger items as well.
We at Southland Heating & Air Conditioning are proud to offer quality heating and air conditioning services to the greater Newbury Park, CA, area. Our skilled team also offers reliable indoor air quality services for an affordable price. We are a family-owned and locally operated company, and we have been providing residents of the Newbury area with excellent customer service since 2011. Our founders have over 50 years of combined industry experience, and we are committed to providing the very best HVAC services in the region.
Let our friendly team of experts handle your home comfort needs. Give us a call at Southland Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule an appointment or learn more about what we can offer you.