It's not cold outside just yet. In fact, it may be the hottest it's ever been. Although it's still the height of the summer season, it won't be long before colder weather rolls in. Making sure your heating system is in great shape while it's still warm outside can help prevent unpleasant surprises as the mercury drops.
How to Take Care of Your Furnace
There's plenty you can do to make sure your furnace remains in great shape for its fall debut. Here are a few important furnace maintenance tasks you can take care of before the end of the summer season:
- Check and change your air filter. A clogged air filter can wreak havoc on your furnace once it's turned on. Replace your air filter with one offering similar or better MERV performance before using your furnace and remember to replace it once every three months afterward.
- Check all electrical connections. Make sure all electrical connections are secure and free of any damage. Don't forget to check your breakers and fuses.
- Get rid of dust and debris. That tell-tale burning odor you smell when you first start your furnace is usually the result of dust and debris being burned away. To keep this from happening, thoroughly clean your furnace before you use it.
- Inspect for rust and corrosion. Make sure the exhaust flue and heat exchanger are free of rust and corrosion. A rusted heat exchanger can pose a dangerous health threat to your home's occupants.
In addition to the above, you should also have your HVAC technician perform a professional inspection of your furnace. A once-over by a seasoned pro can help pick up any issues you may have missed during your own maintenance and inspection.
When to Consider an Upgrade
If it's been a decade or more since you've last replaced your furnace, it may be time to consider an upgrade. Today's furnaces offer stellar improvements in energy efficiency and reliability, resulting in lower maintenance costs and reduced energy consumption. It may also be time to upgrade your furnace if you're currently experiencing the following issues:
- Your heating costs have steadily increased while your heating demands remain the same.
- Your furnace leaves some rooms in your home too hot or too cold for comfort.
- Your furnace constantly makes strange banging, grinding, or squealing noises.
- The cost of repairing your furnace exceeds its initial purchase price.
- Portions of your furnace suffer from severe rust and corrosion.
If you need to replace your furnace, it's usually a good idea to have a professional tackle the task. A professional installation guarantees good performance and reliability for years to come.