A furnace is a significant investment in your Perry, GA, home. Unfortunately, failing to maintain its efficiency reduces your furnace’s life and increases your operating cost. Here are six investments to consider to maximize your heating efficiency and extend the life of your furnace:

Keep Your Filter Clean

Filters are such a minor investment, but they make a huge difference in efficiency. A clogged filter prevents air from flowing into your system and heat from flowing into your home.

Your furnace continues producing heat, but it remains trapped inside, adding wear to the internal electrical components. It also means your furnace either runs longer cycles or shuts down and runs cycles more often. In either case, the result is more fuel consumption and increased chances in needing furnace repairs.

The common 1- or 2-inch filter needs replacing about every 90 days. Plan to check it monthly and gently vacuum the intake side to improve airflow between changes.

Avoid the “On” Setting

Your thermostat has two options for your circulating fan: “On” and “Auto.” The best option is “Auto,” which engages the circulating fan at the appropriate time of the heating cycle.

When you set the fan to “On,” it runs continuously, even without the furnace running. This makes it feel like there’s cold air coming from your vents. More importantly, it adds significant wear to your circulating fan, leading to a premature replacement.

Improve Your Insulation

When winter storms push through the area, the cold temperatures and accompanying wind lead to tremendous heat loss. This heat loss means your furnace will cycle more often to maintain the right temperature inside.

To help reduce this effect, check your home’s insulation to make sure it has the right R-Value. The Department of Energy recommends a minimum R49 for homes in Georgia. If you have three or four inches of existing insulation, the recommendation is a minimum of R38.

If you aren’t sure of the kind of insulation in your home, have it inspected by a trained professional. Consider having them install the new insulation to prevent heat leaks around obstacles.

Upgrade Your Thermostat

Your thermostat is your furnace’s brain, controlling when it cycles and for how long. However, your thermostat will only last 10 to 15 years before it starts losing its temperature sensitivity.

If your thermostat is getting well into its service life, consider upgrading to a newer model. While upgrading, be sure to get a model with the right programming options for your home. Setting a program to lower the temperature by 7 to 10 degrees while you’re away is critical to better efficiency.

Aside from a programmable model, you may want to invest in a smart learning or remote access thermostat. Both models make setting programs incredibly easy. Remote access models allow you to control your unit from your phone in case you have a variable schedule.

Improve Ventilation

Your home needs good ventilation to keep good air quality throughout your home. Better air quality means fewer contaminants clogging your system, reducing its operational strain.

You can also improve your system’s efficiency with an energy recovery ventilator. A recovery ventilator preconditions the air coming in using the air you’re venting out. The result is less heat escaping your home, reducing the system’s cycle frequency.

Schedule Furnace Maintenance

One of the most important investments you can make in your furnace is annual maintenance. While your unit runs, it collects airborne contaminants which restrict airflow. Its mounting bolts and electrical connections slowly loosen due to vibration.

A service technician takes care of all of these issues while performing annual maintenance. They also test each component, detecting small problems before they cause damaging strain on your system.

System maintenance is so important that most manufacturers require it as a term of their warranty. So, not only does this small investment keep your system running efficiently, but it ensures you’re protected if your unit fails.

Make the annual investment that will keep your furnace running strong. Call to schedule your furnace maintenance with one of the expert service technicians at Pruitt Air Conditioning today.

Image provided by iStock

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