Seven Things You Can Do To Keep Your Furnace Running Through Winter
Before the temps drop again, one the best things Utah homeowners can do right now is to make sure their furnaces work, are safe and create heat efficiently. Here are seven steps we can take to keep our furnaces humming along through the winter.
Change the Air Filter
Changing your furnace’s air filter every one to three months is a must-do for any homeowner. Dan Dearden of Just Right Air says a dirty filter will not allow proper air flow to distribute heat throughout your home.
“If your air filter is plugged, your home is not going to be very comfortable,” explained Dearden. “It’s going to make the furnace over heat and that’s going to be hard on the furnace and it costs you extra dollars to run.”
Keep the Furnace Clean and Clear
Next, keep the outside of the furnace clean and dust and other debris. And, give it space.
“Make sure it’s free and clear of combustible materials; there isn’t any paints or solvents or anything that can combust inside the furnace room,” Dearden said.
Keep Vents and Registers Clear
Next, give your floor vents space. Blocked off vents lead to uneven heating.
“Make sure the furniture isn’t blocking the registers so that air can come up and into the room,” Dearden said.
The same goes for the intake vents where the air goes back into the furnace.
“Anytime you’ve reduced the air going across the heat exchanger, it’s going to shorten its life and it will also cost more on energy bills.”
Get a Professional Tune-Up
Dan Dearden says having a pro inspect your furnace every year is a critical step. Yes, it is a service he sells. But, there is more to it than preventative maintenance and safety checks on a complex, gas-burning appliance. You could void the manufacturer’s warranty if you don’t have proof your furnace has been regularly maintained.
“Just like if you have a car and you don’t change the oil and the engine burns up,” Dearden explained. “They’re not going to replace your engine.”
Covering the A/C Unit During Winter
A lot of people like to cover their outdoor A/C condenser units. Dearden has this warning.
“Make sure you go to the A/C breaker in your circuit breaker panel and shut it off so your A/C cannot accidentally be turned on,” he said.
Dearden says if someone turns on your A/C while it’s covered, the unit can quickly overheat and burn up.
Setting the Thermostat
As for the thermostat, there is no magic number to set it at.
“I would say 90 percent of our customers set their temp at about 70 degrees in the winter,” he said. “Turning down the temperature at night can save you a substantial amount of money.”
According the Department of Energy, dialing the temp down by 7 to 10 degrees while you are asleep or out of the house will knock 10 percent off your heating bill over a year.
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