Your furnace is put under the most demand during the winter, by far. The strain of keeping your home warm day and night will make it much more likely for the furnace to develop issues over the next few months. You may not be able to completely prevent the furnace from developing a problem, but you certainly can take steps to lower the chances as much as possible. Follow the steps below to keep your furnace in good shape throughout the winter season.
Schedule Preventive Maintenance
The single best thing that you can do to make sure that your furnace is able to cope with winter is to schedule preventive maintenance. Most of the issues that can afflict furnaces develop slowly at first. They don’t start to display obvious symptoms until they’ve been allowed to develop for quite a while. You are going to want to catch furnace issues before they become obvious, if you want to limit the damage they do to your system as much as possible. That’s why preventive maintenance is so important.
Furnaces that receive regular preventive maintenance have been shown to operate up to 40% more efficiently than systems that do not. They have also been found to be up to 90% less likely to develop problems in the future. If you want to get the most out of preventive maintenance done on your furnace, you need to make sure that you schedule it on a regular basis. The best time to schedule preventive maintenance for your furnace is during the fall. However, even if you missed that window, it’s better to have it done later in the year than to skip it entirely.
Know When to Call for Repairs
Preventive maintenance may help prevent your furnace from developing problems, but it cannot completely guarantee that it will never have any issues. If and when a problem does occur with your furnace between maintenance appointments, it’s important that you be able to identify it and call for repairs as quickly as possible. The faster you can have an issue repaired, the less time it will have to damage your system. There are a lot of different signs that might indicate an issue with the furnace.
Make sure that you call for repairs if you hear any sort of strange noises coming from your furnace during operation. Grinding noises might mean that your air handler is malfunctioning, while a deep booming noise at startup could indicate delayed ignition. Any sound that your furnace doesn’t normally make should be investigated by a professional, just to be sure.
Dropping output is another sign that your furnace is in trouble, either due to duct leaks, clogged air filters, or some other issue. Finally, call a professional as soon as you notice that your furnace is turning itself on and off every couple of minutes. This is called short cycling, and it can shorten the lifespan of the system by a number of years if left untreated.