Just like with your car, regular maintenance and simple observations will tell you when it is time to have a tech out to your home-- before it dies completely.
Your Bills Seem Awfully High This Winter
Your furnace will naturally become less efficient as it ages, but this process takes years. Normally, your bills might go up by a few dollars each year. If your bills spike, or they are substantially higher this winter, it may be a sign that your heater is having a hard time keeping up. In the case of an extra cold winter (especially if you are using a heat pump system), this is somewhat normal, but a failing system will draw lots of power even when the temperature is mild.
If you are still unsure of whether or not the heater is the source of the problem, there are a couple of ways you can confirm that the heater is the cause of your high bills. If the bill you are concerned about is the electric, there are devices that you can purchase that can clock how much current is running through the wire. Simple ones plug into the wall, but for your furnace you will probably need one that clamps around the wire. They are useful to have around, especially if you are looking to spot places where you can pare down your electrical usage, so it is a worthwhile investment.
No Matter How Much You Clean, Dust Keeps Settling
Part of your furnace's job is to clean your air. Since modern homes are tightly sealed, the only way for the dirt that gets tracked inside to get back out is through either your vacuum cleaner or your furnace filter. You should replace your filter every 3-6 months at least, but many people forget to do even that much. If you have a large household or pets, then you might need to replace it as often as once a month.
There are two things that happen when the filter gets too full. The first is that the fan has to work harder to pull air through your furnace system. This causes extra wear on the fan, and if left long enough, this can actually cause it to break down. The second is that larger amounts of dust will start to work their way up into your HVAC system. Some of that will pass through, which you will notice as your home gets coated in dust, and the rest will stick inside the furnace. More of the system will start to wear down as the gunk builds up, which is why the filter is there in the first place. This is primarily a preventative maintenance issue, as leaving the gunk in the system will set it on course for a break down even if you replace the filter.
Your Furnace Is Making Strange Noises
It should be no surprise to you that if your furnace is making odd noises, then you should have it looked at. This can come in a couple of different forms. There are a few moving parts, such as the fans, that can cause a consistent and noticeable pattern of noise when they start to break down. However, you should also listen to the pattern of noises that your furnace makes once in awhile to ensure nothing is amiss. If your furnace is staying on for a long time even though it isn't that cold or is cycling rapidly, something is likely about to go very wrong, and you should head it off before it does.
You don't have to wait for your furnace to die to have it repaired. Investing in preventative maintenance and repair will save you from having to choose between sitting in the cold for a few days or paying the premium rates for emergency service. Just keep your eyes and ears open and you can catch most problems before they become critical.
Visit a site like http://www.bishopplumbing.com for more info on HVAC repairs.Share