The furnace in your La Quinta, California, home was a really big financial investment, so you want to ensure it lasts as long as possible. The average life span of a gas furnace is between 15 to 30 years, so if you want your furnace to last into its third decade, try these five tips to extend its life.
Replace Your Filter Regularly
A dirty filter will force your furnace to work harder. Dust, debris, and other indoor pollutants get trapped in your filter so that they don’t recirculate through your home’s air. However, if you don’t replace that clogged-up filter, your system will have to work harder to pull air through it, possibly leading to costly furnace repairs.
So how often should you be changing out your HVAC filter? The rule of thumb is to replace it at least every three months. But if you have pets in your home or you have some family members who are more sensitive to allergens, try replacing your filter every month. Be sure to also get a quality filter with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating of 5-12. This ensures your filter will catch as many indoor pollutants as possible while still keeping your system running efficiently.
Have Your Ductwork Cleaned
No matter how frequently you change your air filter, your HVAC system’s ductwork is going to get pieces of dirt and dust settling in there. After some time, those particulates can get pushed into your living area as dirty air, potentially blocking your airflow. Getting your ducts cleaned by a professional can help ensure that not only is your air clean, but your ducts are also free and clear for optimum airflow and efficiency.
Use Fans Intelligently
Have you ever noticed a little switch on the side of your ceiling fan? That’s there to allow you to switch the direction of your fan blades. Mostly, people think of using their ceiling fans only to cool down a room, but that happens only if the blades are turning counter-clockwise. To help you warm a room with your ceiling fan, switch the direction to go clockwise. This pulls cool air up, and this gentle updraft pushes any warm air from the ceiling down along the walls and back to the floor.
Using this measure will make your rooms feel warmer without having to blast your furnace. In fact, homes that use ceiling fans in the winter can save up to 15 percent on heating bills. Also, this means you’re not using your furnace until you absolutely need it, extending its life span greatly.
Look Into a Programmable Thermostat
Your furnace’s longevity is tied to how hard you make it work. If you’re away at work for eight or nine hours every day but still running your heater at full blast, you’ll be overworking your system and paying too much on your energy bills.
Instead of having to remember to adjust your thermostat before you leave for the day, invest in a programmable thermostat. You can set a predetermined schedule that adjusts your home’s temperature based on the time of day. For the ultimate cost savings, set your programmable thermostat’s temperature back by 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day. You can save as much as 10% on your heating costs this way.
Get Regular Maintenance
If you do just one thing on this list to care for your furnace, it should be this. Every fall, before you have to start cranking up your heater, get professional maintenance done on your unit. Regular preventive maintenance can greatly extend the life of your furnace, so allow an HVAC technician to thoroughly inspect and clean your whole system.
Not only will a clean furnace run more efficiently than a dirty one, but getting a maintenance visit will allow the technician to spot any potential repair issues and address them right away before they can cause any real damage to your system.
By following these five steps, you’re helping your furnace stay clean, efficient, and most importantly, in good working order for years to come. If you ever need a new furnace installation, though, call the professionals at Vic’s Air Conditioning at 760-289-5998.
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