When you set the thermostat to heat on an otherwise cold winter evening, you probably expect your furnace to turn on. Furnaces are central heating systems. They consume energy – typically natural gas or electricity – to generate heat. But like all heating systems, furnaces can fail. You can avoid emergency furnace repairs, however, by taking some precautions.
Check the Vents
You should the air vents in your home to ensure they are open. Closing a few air vents may have little or no effect on your furnace’s performance. Closing too many air vents, though, will force your furnace to work harder. Your furnace will have to run for a longer length of time, thus exposing it to additional wear and tear. To avoid emergency furnace repairs, try to keep most of the air vents open.
Get an Annual Inspection
Don’t underestimate the importance of an annual furnace inspection. Most manufacturers, as well as heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) professionals, recommend an annual inspection. It will give you peace of mind knowing that your furnace is working as intended. If there’s a problem with your furnace, the inspection may reveal it. You can then fix these problems before they leave you and your family without heat.
Go Easy on the Temperature Setting
To protect your furnace from premature failure, go easy on the temperature setting. Jacking up the temperature on the thermostat will result in your furnace running for a longer length of time. And the longer your furnace runs, the more wear and tear it will be exposed to. To avoid emergency furnace repairs, choose a moderate temperature setting that’s still warm but not too hot.
Maintain a Clean Air Filter
Another tip to protect against emergency furnace repairs is to maintain a clean air filter. If the air filter is dirty, your furnace will have to work harder. It will run for a longer length of time, which as previously mentioned, will expose your furnace to more wear and tear. If the air filter dirty, remove it and replace it with a new air filter of the same size.
You may want to replace your furnace. Older furnaces are more likely to fail than their newer counterparts. Over time, the heating element and other components in a furnace will degrade. Eventually, these parts may break while subsequently rendering the furnace inoperable. If your furnace is older than 10 years, you may want to replace it.