In our last post, we recommended you start thinking about arranging for maintenance for your heating system, even though it’s technically still summer and the fall weather hasn’t arrived. Maintenance is simply the all-around best service you can have done for your home’s HVAC system, and you’ll be thankful you had it taken care of early when the cold finally sets in. For one thing, it means less chance you’ll need furnace repair in West Chester, OH over the season.
We want to focus more on repair prevention for your home’s furnace. Routine maintenance isn’t the only way you can stop damage to the furnace and avoid expensive repairs or a safety hazard. Follow us below as we delve into some more ways to stop the need for furnace repairs as well as an early system replacement.
Keep up with regular filter changes
You probably have an HVAC system that combines the furnace and the indoor elements of the air conditioner in a single cabinet. In these set-ups, both the furnace and AC use the same filter, which is either located where the return air ducts meet the cabinet or behind the cover of the return air vent. If you’ve kept up with regular changes for this filter through the summer (every 1 to 3 months), please keep it up during the winter. This filter protects the furnace from dust infiltration that can damage parts and block the burners. If the filter becomes clogged, it will place excess strain on the furnace’s components that can shorten its service life and lead to repairs.
Unblock all room vents
The room vents need to be open and clear for the heated air from the furnace to easily flow into rooms. Blocking vents doesn’t help lower heating costs—it can instead harm the furnace and the rest of the HVAC system because of increased pressure. Check that all vents are open and no furniture or other objects have been accidentally moved to obstruct them.
Be cautious with thermostat settings
If you have an advanced thermostat (Wi-fi, smart), make sure you know how to use it so you can maximize comfort without putting too much strain on the furnace. We also strongly recommend you avoid raising the thermostat temperature higher than 68°F, no matter how cold it is outside. This is a comfortable temperature and will help ease the workload on the furnace that can cause it to overheat and shut down.
Test run the furnace if you haven’t yet
You probably have not had a reason to turn on the furnace for the season. Now is the time to do it! Pick a cooler time during the time, preferably when few people are on, and give it a short test run. This lets you spot any problem the furnace may have before you have to use it against the cold. (You may notice a burning odor at first. This is normal if it goes away within a few minutes: it’s dust burning off the heat exchanger.)