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10 Furnace maintenance tips to save you money

12.01.21 11:32 AM By Quix Plumbing Service

When it's cold outside, you may feel like throwing on another sweater or breaking out the electric blanket rather than turning up the heat. Unfortunately, this doesn't always help save money on your heating bills. If you're looking to extend the life of your furnace and lower your costs for heating your home, there are some simple steps that you can take to keep it running smoothly. Here are 10 tips for maintaining your furnace and reducing your energy costs.

Furnace Air Filter

Tip #1: Change the Furnace Filter

According to Angie’s List, furnace filter (air filter) changes can reduce your energy bill by 5 to 15 percent. Be sure to check manufacturers' recommendations on how often you should change your furnace filter. Dirty filters can reduce airflow through your system, straining and ultimately shortening its lifespan. Additionally, dirty or clogged filters can contribute to poor indoor air quality issues.

Tip # 2: Clean Your Furnace

Your furnace is just like any other part of your home. It needs to be cleaned and maintained on an annual basis. Regular maintenance can help you maintain the efficiency of your system and detect issues before they become major ones ultimately sparing you huge expenses down the line. If you've been experiencing a decrease in heating performance or if your home seems drafty, it may be time to schedule a cleaning.

Tip # 3: Inspect Your Ducts for Leaks, Blockages, and Damage

Ducts are a key part of your heating and cooling system, but they can also be leaky. Leaks in the ductwork mean that cold air from outside is flowing into warm spaces inside where it doesn't belong! If you've ever noticed cold air seeping through your walls or floors, it's likely due to poorly insulated ductwork. According to the U.S Department of Energy, an average home can lose up to 30 percent of its heated air through leaks and poorly insulated ducts. Take this opportunity to check for any cracks along seams or other openings before winter sets in.

  • Ducts should be tight against their surfaces where they meet wall voids 
  • Check behind electrical outlets as well 
  • Inspect register plates located near ceilings 
  • Clear any furniture obstructing air vents and air ducts for optimal airflow.

Tip # 4: Improve the Insulation in Your Home

One of the most cost-effective ways to improve your home's thermal performance is by adding or improving insulation. This will reduce heat loss and keep cold air outside where it belongs, so you can save on energy costs.

Tip # 5: Don’t Ignore the “Check Engine” Light

If your furnace turns off unexpectedly, it could be a sign of serious problems with the unit that requires immediate service from a certified professional so don’t delay in contacting them!

Tip # 6: Ensure Proper Ventilation and Airflow in Your Home

A furnace will operate most efficiently when there is proper ventilation within the home. This means that you should ensure good airflow throughout your entire house by ensuring that all vents are clear of any objects or furniture blocking them. Additionally, if you have air ducts in the ceiling, be sure that they have been properly insulated to ensure optimal airflow.

Tip # 7: Inspect Your Furnace Regularly for Leaks and Damage

Be sure to inspect your furnace regularly so you can catch any potential problems before they become more serious issues. Look underneath your unit periodically, if possible too. For a gas-burning furnace, it is important that the room be well ventilated to reduce potential buildups of carbon monoxide as well. Lastly, Consider annual maintenance service contracts for your system. While it may be tempting to try and save money by only getting your furnace serviced when something goes wrong, this will actually end up costing you more in the long run as a preventative maintenance service is much cheaper.

Tip #8 Keep Outdoors Clear and Clean

While it may seem simple, keeping your yard free of snow and other debris is crucial for the efficient operation of your furnace. If snow and dirt are allowed to accumulate on outdoor units, it can damage the components of your furnace or air conditioner by restricting airflow into or out of the unit. This may also result in ice forming around the base of your system which could lead to costly repairs if left unaddressed.

Tip #9: Adjust Your Thermostat

You’d be surprised how much you can save on heating costs by simply adjusting your thermostat temperature. You should set it to heat at 68 degrees when you’re in the house and lower it to 60 degrees when no one is home or asleep. If this is too cold for you, consider investing in a programmable thermostat that can automatically lower the temperature when no one is home.

Tip #10: Check for Drafts Around Doors and Windows

Air leaks will cause your furnace to work harder, which can increase energy bills. Check to make sure doors are properly sealed around the house, especially along the bottom of exterior doors where they meet the flooring at threshold seams or where there is a gap between door jambs that's greater than ¼ inch wide.

Ready for that cold weather to set in? If you're not sure of the condition of your home's heating system, it may be time to call Quix Plumbing Service. While you may be tempted to turn on that furnace by yourself, it's crucial to have an expert check its function every year before the cold weather sets in. We can keep your home running as efficiently as possible by making sure the system is performing at its best so there’s no risk of a sudden outage or breakdown during the colder months.