If you’re a homeowner living in Fayetteville, North Carolina, it’s vital to extend the life of your furnace. That’s because replacing this type of heating system is a costly expense. Most heating and air conditioning systems have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. Here are six low-cost steps to keeping your current furnace working efficiently for as long as possible:
Change the Air Filter
Forgetting to change your furnace filter can lead to poor indoor air quality and potentially damage your system. When the filter is dirty, your furnace works harder to maintain constant airflow because there’s more debris in the way. As a result, it shortens the lifespan of your system. Swapping your air filter every 60–90 days is one of the easiest and least expensive steps you can take to increase the life of your unit.
If your home experiences more dirt and dust than normal, you might need to replace the filter sooner. Inspect the filter each month, and if it’s clogged with dust, replace it.
Maintain Your Home’s Humidity
It’s important to maintain a level of humidity between 30% and 50%. Having high humidity in your home can cause the furnace’s heat exchanger to rust, and it can lead to biological growth in some areas. If the humidity is too low, it can cause a range of problems from dry sinuses to cracking furniture. Depending on your needs, you can install a whole-house humidifier or dehumidifier to help maintain the proper humidity levels.
Upgrade the Thermostat
Consider upgrading your outdated analog thermostat to a programmable model. Older thermostats lack the precision found in newer, advanced models. You could also opt for a smart thermostat to change the temperature via an app on your smartphone. These types of thermostats can learn your climate control habits and adjust the temperatures without you having to touch the system, too. Not only does this save energy and make your home more comfortable, but it also extends the life of the HVAC system since it’s not in constant use.
Clean Your Air Ducts
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the air inside your home might be more polluted than the air outside. When the air circulates throughout your home, it does so through the ductwork. This air contains dust, dirt, pollen and other particulates that can affect those who have allergies or asthma.
If your home has pets, numerous family members or anyone who smokes, this can increase the frequency of needing to clean your air ducts. Not only can cleaning the ducts improve the air quality, but it can also increase the efficiency of your HVAC system. That’s because, when the dust and debris build up, air doesn’t flow as freely. As a result, the system has to work harder.
Schedule an Annual Inspection
One of the most important ways to maximize your furnace’s lifespan is to schedule an annual inspection. Schedule a tuneup before cooler weather hits since you’ll use your unit the most during the fall and winter months. You want to have it looked at before you turn it on. Regular tuneups allow professionals to check for carbon monoxide leaks and other issues. They can also determine if there are loose wires, problems with the motor or other signs of wear.
Seal Air Leaks
The EPA estimates that the average home loses about 20%–30% of the air that moves through the ductwork due to leaks. If there’s an air leak in your ductwork or elsewhere in your home, your furnace can wear out quicker and increase your energy bill. Make sure to have all leaks outside the home sealed to prevent your HVAC system from having to work too hard to heat your home. Use caulk, weatherstripping and expanding foam around the doors, windows, and holes used for plumbing and wires.
When temperatures dip, it’s important to have a working furnace to keep your home warm. By following these six steps, you can increase your furnace’s lifespan. For more information or to schedule an inspection, contact Bass Air Conditioning Company today.
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