Furnaces are among the most important appliances in every American home. They are crucial in keeping us comfortable and warm throughout the winter season. According to industry information, the lifespan of many furnaces is 18 to 20 years. However, many of them break down earlier due to lack of maintenance or poor maintenance. Installing a new furnace is a huge investment. Therefore, it’s always a great idea to prepare your heating unit for winter, and doing so will also help maximize its life expectancy.
Your furnace can last longer with proper maintenance and due diligence. A well-maintained heater will also run more efficiently, which means lower utility bills because you’ll use less energy. The following steps can help you extend your furnace’s life expectancy, keeping your home cozy and comfortable for many years to come.
1. Invest in Insulation
One of the best and most effective ways to extend the life of your heating unit is by fixing any air leaks in your home. Air leaks will not only rob your house of warm air from the furnace but also forces the unit to work harder to maintain your desired temperature. The excess strain on the unit’s motor can also result in a decreased lifespan. Your doors, windows, basement, entry points for pipes and cables, kitchen and bathroom vents are the common areas that allow warm air to seep out of your house.
Seal any gaps and openings in these areas using weatherstripping or caulk to prevent potential air leaks. If your windows are old and inefficient, consider replacing them with windows that have low-E coatings to lower your heating costs. You can also ease your heater’s workload by insulating your house. Attic insulation will help make the most of the generated warm air by keeping it indoors where it belongs. As a result, your furnace will have a lighter workload during the winter season, and your home will remain cozier.
2. Clean Your Ductwork
Your ductwork is responsible for regulating and circulating air from your cooling and heating units to every room in your home. Air ducts can accumulate dirt, dust particles, mold, pollen, pet dander, and other debris when neglected. As a result, there will be an inefficient flow of warm and conditioned air, creating hot and cold spots in your house. Your furnace will also have to work harder and run for longer periods to maintain the desired indoor conditions.
Overworking strains the unit and leads to wear and tear, causing annoying system failures in the middle of the cold season. Consequently, you’ll call for furnace emergency repairs regularly. If you continue to use the heating system in such a state, you’ll strain essential components like the compressor and motor, and eventually, the unit will fail. Therefore, you’ll have to replace the furnace earlier than expected. The good news is that cleaning your air ducts can help prevent premature breakdowns of your heater. If your family has pets, allergies, or members who smoke, you’ll need to clean your ductwork more often. Not only will a regular ductwork cleaning routine help prolong your heating unit’s lifespan, but it’ll also improve your indoor air quality.
3. Upgrade Your Thermostat
The other simple way to extend the lifespan of your heating unit is by investing in a programmable thermostat. This device allows you to customize your home’s heating schedules to match your needs. You can set predefined schedules that adjust your home’s temperature based on the season and the time of the day. For instance, you can set the thermostat to cooler temperatures when everybody goes to bed or when no one is at home. This way, you’ll take the unnecessary strain off the heating unit, which translates into utility savings.
4. Run Ceiling Fans Counterclockwise
According to research studies, combining a furnace with a ceiling fan can prolong its lifespan and reduce energy bills by around 15% during winter. Allowing your ceiling fans to rotate in a counterclockwise manner can help circulate warm air better throughout your house. Fans distribute the heated air to the upper areas of the rooms. This way, your home will insulate the warm air more effectively, which allows your heater to take it easy. As a result, your heating unit will not overwork, adding more years to its lifespan.
5. Replace Furnace Filters
The function of air filters is to clean indoor air and prevent your HVAC unit from allowing debris and dirt to enter the heater. When neglected, air filters can cause your heating system to blow cold air and shorten its lifespan. If the filters get clogged, it’ll decrease airflow through your furnace, forcing it to work harder to fight the additional resistance. Since there is limited airflow in the furnace, your unit will have to run for longer periods to raise the desired temperature. Overworking your heating system can shorten its life. You can ease the strain on the unit and make it last longer by simply changing your filters.
When you change your furnace filters significantly depends on your home and the quality of your air filters. If you have pets or your home is near a construction site, you will need to change your filters more often. You might also need regular filter changes if you frequently use your HVAC unit.
6. Schedule Furnace Maintenance
Another measure you can take to extend the life of your heating unit is to schedule annual professional inspections and tune-ups. A seasonal inspection gives our HVAC technicians the chance to inspect the heating unit fully. This way, our professionals can discover small issues before they grow into expensive repairs.
Cleaning condensate drains, lubricating the moving parts, making minor adjustments, and testing all components will keep your heating unit running optimally. That means there will be fewer to no breakdowns, so your home will get heated reliably and stress-free during the cold season. Furnace maintenance will also keep the components from deteriorating fast from normal wear and tear, which means your heating unit will remain in good working order for many years to come.
7. Don’t Ignore Furnace Repairs
No one likes to pay for something that can be avoided. If you suspect an issue with your furnace before your scheduled maintenance date, have our technicians check the unit immediately. Whether it’s a blocked condensate line or a malfunctioning belt, you don’t want to damage the other parts of the unit or experience a permanent breakdown. If you wait, the problem will worsen, and the furnace may need costly repairs or an emergency replacement.
Contact the Heating Experts
A well-maintained heating unit can last for many years before needing a replacement. Changing filters, maintaining steady temperatures, and scheduling routine maintenance play a significant role in your furnace’s lifespan. Insulating your attic and running your ceiling fans counterclockwise is also vital in reducing your heating unit’s workload.
If you are looking for reputable technicians to help you in furnace maintenance, reach out to Polar Air & Heating, Inc.. From heating installations to maintenance and repairs, our team of professionals can help keep your home comfy all year round. We are also experts in air quality, air conditioning, and commercial refrigeration services throughout Las Vegas, NV, and its surroundings. Call us now to schedule your appointment or request one of our services.