4 Ways to Prevent Furnace Fails (So You Don’t Freeze This Fall)

September 24, 2014

Fall is here. And with it comes the cold weather.  You could try to keep yourself warm with pumpkin spice lattes (who wouldn’t at least try?). But we’re betting you probably want to rely more on your furnace instead.

With that in mind, you need to make sure it’s up to the task.
 
Here are 4 quick tips for ensuring your furnace gets you through the coming cold seasons.

1) Nip problems in the bud

When you turn on the furnace, does it make any strange noises—like banging or grinding?

Don’t ignore them.
 
A banging noise could mean there’s dirt on the burners, so there’s a delayed ignition. Then when the gas finally ignites, there is a loud bang. This could potentially harm the furnace.
 
If you hear a grinding noise, there might be an issue the blower, the part that distributes the heated air throughout your home.
 
If you hear these or any other noises, call a professional to nip these problems in the bud before they damage your furnace.
 
Learn more in our article: “Why Is My Gas Furnace Making a Strange Noise?” [FAQ]

2) Check that furnace filter—now

The air filter’s job is to protect the furnace from airborne dirt and dust. Once it gets too dirty, it’s worthless because it can’t catch anything anymore. Even worse, this buildup of dust can harm the furnace, leading to a premature breakdown. 

Also, a dirty air filter restricts airflow over the heat exchanger. This can cause the heat exchanger to get too hot, expand, and crack.
 
So check the filter now, and keep doing so once a month.
 
Need new filters? Check out our article: Home Air Filters: A Simple Buyer’s Guide.

3) Open air vents (yes, even in unused rooms)

Surprised? Most people think closing air vents in unused rooms saves money. But it actually forces the furnace to work harder to heat your home. In the worst-case scenario, it can actually damage the heat exchanger, the most expensive part of a furnace.

Learn more in our article: 3 Nasty Consequences of Closing Air Vents in Unused Rooms. 

4) Get professional maintenance (so you don’t void the warranty)

Like a car, a furnace needs an annual tune-up so it works efficiency.

But professional maintenance can also catch costly problems— problems you'd have to pay for at the worst time possible (like in the middle of a cold night).
 
Also, many furnace manufacturer warranties specify that a furnace needs a certain level of maintenance or the warranty may become void.
 
The best time for furnace maintenance is in the fall, according to ENERGY STAR. If you wait until winter, contractors are too busy and it may take you awhile to get service.
 
If your furnace has had not maintenance yet, contact us today to schedule a furnace maintenance visit in your home. 
 
Santa Fe Air Conditioning and Heating serves the Kansas City area. For more information, contact us online.