Hiring an HVAC service to replace your furnace is a big expense that you want to avoid as long as possible. Furnaces generally last 18 to 20 years, but can last 25 to 30 years if you maintain them properly. Here are a few easy ways you can treat your furnace better to keep it performing for as long as possible with minimal big furnace repairs.
Change the Filters Regularly
This is one of the easiest, least expensive ways to make your furnace last longer. Your furnace’s filter traps dirt, pet hair, and other debris, preventing it from getting into the furnace blower fan. An overly-full filter decreases airflow through the unit, forcing the unit to work harder than it needs to. If left for a long time, this runs the risk of overheating your furnace. Long-term, making your furnace work harder than it has to can shorten its lifespan.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and your HVAC professional’s recommendation about how often to change your filters. You may need to do it more often if your house has a lot of dust or if you have pets.
Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
A home that has a lot of spaces where heat leaks out of them put more strain on your furnace. Taking measures to make your home more energy-efficient will lower your heating costs, but will also help prolong the life of your furnace.
You can start by making sure your home is well-insulated. Fix any gaps or holes in your home where air leaks out. Common spaces include the foundation, windows, doors, and any entry points for cables and pipes. If your home is on the older side, consider replacing any old, energy-inefficient windows with ones that have a low-e coating to help insulate.
Keep Your Home Clean
Keep the area around your furnace clear; it helps the unit run more efficiently by allowing air to flow easily through it. Make sure your heat registers are clear. They can also get in the way of air flowing through the HVAC system, straining the furnace.
It can be a fire hazard to store items too close to your heating unit, so this is a good idea in general.
Check the Unit Regularly and Schedule Repairs as Needed
Make a point to inspect the different parts of your furnace on a regular basis (always shut off the power before doing this). Make sure all the components look normal and that the blower fan is clean.
If you notice any issues with your furnace or that it’s not working as well as usual, contact an HVAC specialist as soon as possible so you can nip the problem in the bud. And be sure to schedule a furnace tune-up at least once a year, preferably in the fall.
These tips might seem like common sense, but a few preventative measures can go a long way in prolonging the life of your furnace and keeping you and your family comfortable and safe.