With winter's cold beginning to settle across the Sacramento area, home heating is once again on the minds of many homeowners, especially those who are dealing with an aging furnace. While replacing a worrisome system is always the best defense, the cost may make it necessary to wait as long as possible to do so.
Homeowners who know their furnace is on its last legs may be able to extend its lifespan for another winter by taking steps to lessen its workload.
Reduce Air Loss Issues in the Home
A cracked window, an ill-fitting door and many other home repair problems can seem small, yet add up to significant heat loss issues that can cause heating bills to rise.
Even worse, air loss issues cause aging furnaces to kick on more often and work harder than they should to raise the interior temperature of the home. For an aging furnace, this extra workload can mean an untimely failure that will be both expensive and inconvenient to address.
In addition to making any repairs that can make a home more difficult to heat, homeowners may want to make additional changes to reduce their furnace's workload, including:
- opting to enter and exit the home through a sheltered doorway, such as through the garage or through an enclosed porch during cold weather, instead of using a doorway that opens directly the outside
- keeping garage doors down on attached garages to help limit cold air infiltration into the home
- requesting that members of the household put on a sweater instead of automatically raising the furnace thermostat setting
- installing insulated drapes or window covering that will help prevent the loss of heated air
Homeowners with aging furnaces should also be very diligent about routine furnace maintenance. The most important part of routine maintenance that homeowners should do is to always change furnace filters regularly, using the recommendations of the manufacturer. During periods of heavy usage, such as during bitterly cold weather, changing them even more frequently can be helpful.
Additional maintenance needs that homeowner should be diligent about includes keeping the area where the furnace is housed free of dust and dirt and being alert for any noises or smells that may indicate the system is struggling.
Consider Adding Dampers to Help Redirect Air Flow
When central home heating system ducts are installed, they are designed to ensure that the entire home will be served by the furnace. Homeowners may not, however, need or want to heat every part of their home.
If the goal is to reduce the workload on an aging furnace system, homeowners may want to consider having one or more air duct dampers installed into their current duct system.
An air duct damper acts like a valve to regulate or stop the flow of heated or cooled air to specific rooms or areas of the home. This can help an aging furnace more efficiently heat a home, as well helping to make other areas more comfortable.
Start With a Complete Diagnostic Checkup to Prevent Unpleasant Surprises
When the goal is keeping an aging furnace system in service for one more season, starting with a complete diagnostic checkup is a good plan.
This type of checkup should include an inspection of all moving parts, belts, and electrical connections for signs of overheating or wear that could cause them to fail suddenly. In addition, this type of service call will make sure that your system is clean and ready for the demands of the season.
Homeowners in the greater Sacramento area who want to learn more about prolonging the lifespan of their aging furnace can contact the friendly professionals at Heald Mechanical today for more information.