Imagine being stuck in your house in the middle of a snow or ice storm, with temperatures outside plummeting. For many homeowners, one of the worst things that can happen on a long, cold winter weekend is the breakdown of the furnace. Luckily, such disasters are generally preventable. These tips will help you keep your heater in good working condition this winter, and may help you avoid costlyheating repair.
Change the Air Filter
The air filter is the part of your HVAC system that cleans the air for both the air conditioner as well as the furnace. The air filter helps prevent particles like dust and hair from circulating through the HVAC system and through your home. Since dust and other pollutants can wear down your system and degrade its ability to function properly over time, changing the air filter is an important part of keeping the furnace working all winter long.
According to the Energy Star program, your air filter should be changed at least every 3 months. Changing the air filter more frequently benefits the HVAC system as well as the members of your household. Change the air filter on a regular basis throughout the year, whenever the HVAC system is in use.
Get Your Heater a Tune Up
Contact a certified heater repair person to give your heater a tune up. This will ensure that your heater's parts are in good condition to last throughout the winter. When the heater repair professional comes to your home, he or she will inspect the following:
- Pilot ignition
- Lubrication of mechanical parts
Seal Your Ducts
Over time, ducts in older homes tend to develop leaks, which contributes to the inefficiency of the HVAC system. These leaks cause the heater to work longer and harder than necessary to heat your home, which can wear down the furnace over time. Have your ducts sealed this winter to prevent your heater from working overtime.
Listen for Signs of Distress
Before your heater breaks down, you may hear signs of distress coming from the unit. Forced air heaters naturally make a whooshing noise when activated, but some noises can be indicative of a problem. For example:
- Loud hum
If your heater begins to make these noises, contact a professional for heater repair immediately. When contacting an HVAC professional, call a repair company in your community with a reputation for excellence.