Your HVAC system is hard at work for you, regulating temperatures 24 hours daily, seven days a week. This constant demand on your system components will not last forever under that strain, particularly if you live in an area prone to extreme temperatures.
With the average furnace lasting between 15 and 20 years, it is possible to extend the lifespan of your hardworking furnace. Proper care and maintenance of your HVAC system and all its components could add more than five additional years to its lifespan. This can allow you to enjoy regulated temperatures much longer before an HVAC replacement is needed. Care of your HVAC system is a partnership between you and your qualified HVAC service professionals. Following these simple care steps will protect your investment and will add life to your unit, putting more money back into your pocket.
Perform Seasonal Maintenance on Your System
Regular furnace maintenance is required to keep your warranty active. Following recommended seasonal maintenance protocols will extend its life and improve its function. Cleaning HVAC system components, evaluating electrical connections, and inspecting burners and the blower wheel are all excellent ways to improve your unit’s efficiency and keep it running longer.
Open and Clean Registers as Needed
People tend to close registers in the wintertime to re-route air to rooms that are used most often, thinking that this is an efficient way to conserve energy as your unit runs. This does little to improve airflow efficiency within your system, and it increases static pressure. Your furnace will end up working harder than it should, trying to regulate your home’s temperature.
Static pressure is the resistance to flow taking place in your ductwork. Blocking too much of this airflow can cause resistance, and your blower motor must work harder to push air through your system. You’ll need the right balance of static pressure in your system. Too much or too little static pressure causes problems like energy insufficiency and eventual early system failure.
You should do what you can to position furniture and fabrics away from registers. Any large piece of furniture or fabric that is within 18 inches of a supply air vent can decrease airflow and cause fluctuations in temperature that make regulation difficult.
Clear the Clutter
The main unit of your furnace needs to have space around it for it to “breathe.” You may tend to pile things in a furnace room or basement which can restrict airflow around the unit, causing fluctuations in temperature that make your unit work harder than it should. To avoid early burnout, keep a two to three-foot space around all sides of the unit that is free from obstructions and debris to help improve airflow and function.
Set a Consistent Temperature
You may have been told that it is a “smart energy practice” to turn your thermostat between 20 and 30 degrees lower when leaving the house for an extended period. This might help your energy bill short term but bringing that cold air into your heating system is not smart energy practice.
By setting your thermostat to a consistent temperature, you’re reducing the wear and tear on your unit by giving it a predictable job to do. Without fluctuations in temperature, your unit isn’t heating up and cooling down continually, leading to an overworked system. Set your unit on seasonal cruise control for best results.
Fix Leaky Ductwork
According to industry experts, a typical duct system loses between 25 – 40% of the regulated air pushed out through your system. Leaky ductwork makes your unit work harder, decreasing its overall life expectancy and increasing utility bills. Having your ductwork inspected and repaired by a licensed HVAC professional will save your system and regulate your monthly energy bills from season to season.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can remind you of upcoming maintenance needs, alert you to the need for a filter change, and give you recommendations on best practices for heating and cooling your home by suggesting temperature changes based on a history of use. More sophisticated thermostat systems can even sense levels of static pressure, giving you notifications when a dirty or clogged system is compromising airflow. All this data can be used to efficiently regulate your system and keep it running cleaner and longer.
Replace and Clean Furnace Filters
Your furnace and furnace filter are meant to work together to clean and distribute fresh air through your home’s ductwork. Dirty, clogged filters are saturated with dust, debris, and allergens that can circulate throughout your home and cause potential health consequences for you and your loved ones. A clogged filter also causes your system to become dirty and caked with debris causing it to work harder to pass this sludge to push air through your system. Cleaning and replacing worn-out filters are the simplest thing you can do to protect your furnace and improve its function.
Get Ductwork Cleaned
Dirty ductwork is another component that is working against you when you are trying to extend the life of your HVAC system. Dirt, dust, mold, mildew, and even rodent and animal residue can reside in these dark, moist places, piling up and compromising your system. Having your ductwork professionally cleaned at least once every year will do wonders for keeping the rest of your system and home clean. It will also allow your furnace to perform with minimal interference.
Have Professional Maintenance and Repair Performed Regularly
Unless you have training in HVAC service and repair yourself, there are not many components of your system that you should try to fix or maintain on your own. Trying to do this yourself could be extremely dangerous. Enlisting the services of professional HVAC technicians who will regularly maintain, inspect, and repair your unit as needed will be a very effective strategy in making sure your unit is optimized and performing well. While minor repairs may seem inconvenient, they are no match for significant breakdown costs and the replacement of units that have been neglected. Spend a little now, see significant improvements in function and longevity over time, and this will save you money in the long run.
Change Ceiling Fan Direction
Changing ceiling fan direction at different times of the year will help to circulate air through your home, assisting your blower fan and ductwork with the important job of regulating temperatures. Clockwise directions help keep things cooler in the summertime, while a counterclockwise direction draws air up from the floor, helping warm air to circulate more efficiently through your home. Combining ceiling fan efforts with furnace regulation can reduce your monthly energy costs by as much as 15%.
Winterize Your Home
Give your furnace a little break and take steps to weatherproof your home to make it airtight and efficient. The addition of weather stripping keeps cold and hot air out. Furthermore, adding insulation to the attic and eaves helps to regulate temperatures inside your home and keep your living spaces well-regulated which is beneficial throughout the year.
Our Pros Can Improve HVAC Efficiency!
Since 2004, Agers Heating & Air Conditioning has been proudly serving valued clients in the greater St. Louis area and beyond. Providing expert solutions related to heating, cooling, installation and replacement, indoor air quality assessment, and commercial services, our technicians will address your concerns and provide you with expert service and solutions that will put money back into your pocket. Call us today to see how we can improve your energy efficiency and extend the life of your HVAC system.