Get and Keep your Furnace in Good Shape for the Marathon this Winter

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Imagine the last time you got a really great nights’ sleep.  Then imagine being jolted awake after that long sleep and being forced to run a whole marathon.  This is basically what you’re asking your furnace to do every fall.  Your furnace likely hasn’t been run since April or May – about 6 months.  Then when the weather turns cold, we turn it on without a thought. And expect it to run for another 6 months without fail.  We’re here to tell you…your furnace needs love.

 

The Engine

Like most engines, your furnace needs maintenance to run like a champ. You have your car serviced regularly, right?  Your furnace needs the same kind of attention.  You need to schedule regular service to keep the mechanical parts of the furnace functional.  Did you know that some heating systems use metal or clay to create hot air? These are often referred to as “heat exchanger.” And as those components are heated and cooled, they become subject to cracking and breaking.  Its true.  And some of those cracks can lead to radon issues and even complete furnace failure. 

But Wait, There’s More

We see all kinds of home maintenance tasks and none is as hated as the changing of the furnace filter.  In reality, it is a very easy fix, at most taking 5 minutes.  Take out the old yucky filter and put it in a trash bag (you don’t want to drag the dirty one through the house, right?) and then pop the new one in.  Easy, right?  Then why does everyone put it off and forget it?  We hear from homeowners all the time that “they can’t remember the last time they changed the air filter” and that is bad.  The filter in your furnace and HVAC should be changed at least every quarter. Most air filters are easy to find; Target has lots of sizes available.   If you’re not replacing the filter you will have problems like poor air quality and potentially a fire.  Yes, an unchanged filter can cause a fire.  Don’t worry, we’d be happy to put changing your air filters on our calendar, just give us a call.

We’re Not Done Yet

Once the air gets through the filter, it still has to make its way through your ducts to get to you.  Do we need to ask, “when was the last time you had your ducts cleaned?”  We didn’t think so.  At least once a year (twice is even better) you should have your ducts cleaned.  And not by sticking your vacuum cleaner attachment in there.  Having your air ducts cleaned can guarantee better air quality in your home.  Also, a professional inspection can detect any cracks or damage to the ducts that could be costing you money. 

Okay, okay, we’re almost done.  We can’t stress enough just how important your furnace care is.  This is one appliance that will be costly and a real inconvenience if it suddenly stops working.  Before the weather gets any worse, have your furnace serviced for the season.  Then, don’t forget to change the filter and clean the ducts. Better yet, just give us a call and we can handle it all for you.