Texans are well aware of how quickly the weather can change in this state, from hot to bitterly cold when you least expect it. Having your furnace go out in the middle of the night is the absolute last thing you want to happen in that situation. Our goal at Air Check Mechanical Service is to be there for you when you need us – whether it’s to keep your furnace running well, repair your furnace, or even replace it – or to ensure your comfort is preserved.
Naturally, we don’t want you to have to wake up in the middle of the night to a cold house (or certainly not with frozen water pipes!), so we’ve compiled our top six furnace maintenance ideas to keep you warm and snug all winter.
1. Do not wait until the cold weather arrives to inspect your furnace.
Call it Murphy’s law, but it always seems to be the case that furnaces fail on the coldest night of the year. This is why every year, when the temperatures are still mild, you should have your furnace thoroughly inspected by a professional HVAC company like Air Check. This will allow you to take action quickly if it is discovered that your furnace has to be repaired or completely replaced. What’s more, you’re more likely to get a discount on furnace installation when the supply is high – which is of course in the spring and summer.
2. Check and replace your air filter.
Is this fairly obvious? Yes. But, it’s one of the most effective things any homeowner can do to prolong the life of their furnace. Among other things, your air filter is responsible for catching particulates in your home such as dust, pollen, mold spores, and other contaminants.
When you forget about regular filter changes, your air filters can become clogged with those particles, causing your furnace to work harder in order to push the air through and keep your home comfortable.
This is not only wasteful, but it can also cause your furnace to wear out more quickly, increase your energy bills, and impair the quality of the air you breathe. Consider signing up for a maintenance agreement, which ensures that we will visit every six months to take care of your HVAC.
3. Check to see if the blower motor is operating properly.
The furnace blower motor is responsible for driving the fan that circulates air through the furnace. Once the heat exchanger has reached the desired temperature, air is forced through the heat exchanger by the blower motor. This helps to warm the air and disperse it around the house. Most furnace blowers not only supply air for the furnace, but they also provide air for the air conditioning system, which is a double benefit.
The blower motor contains a large number of moving parts, and if they are not properly maintained, they can begin to fail. A noisy furnace blower may be indicative of a problem with the electric motor driving the blower or with the blower wheel itself. It is possible to hear high-pitched shrill sounds when two metal surfaces are grinding against one another. This could be caused by the blower wheel becoming dislodged from the blower motor’s shaft and scraping against the inside of the internal enclosure. A loud humming sound is usually indicative of an electrical issue. A professional technician can assist you in identifying the root of the problem and making necessary adjustments before the equipment begins to deteriorate and require full replacement.
4. Ensure that all vents and ductwork are clean.
Take a trip around your house at the beginning of the winter season to ensure that all heating vents are open (unless you are closing them off for certain areas) and that nothing is stopping the vents from working properly. Vents may also be removed in order to clear out the ducts. You may also want to consider getting your ductwork inspected and cleaned by a professional, especially if it hasn’t been done in a long period of time.
5. Reduce the amount of energy consumed by the home’s heating system.
Warm air can escape from your home through any cracks or openings in the structural shell, allowing cold winter air to flow in and warm air to escape. Sealing up the envelope of your home lowers the heat load, which is the amount of energy required to keep your home comfortably warm. The services of an HVAC contractor like Air Check Mechanical can help you discover the key causes of heating loss in your home by doing a home energy audit to evaluate where your home’s weaknesses are.
Infrared cameras and sophisticated technology allow a heating professional to pinpoint the areas of your home where the most serious problems exist, and they may assist you in determining the ideal spots to make adjustments. Weather stripping windows and doors, sealing and insulating duct work, and adding insulation to the attic are all examples of projects that can be carried out.