Winter has us firmly in its grip now and the new year is off to a frigid start. Unless we can escape to warmer climes, bundling up and dreaming of spring are our only options. With the thermometer plunging to record lows, it’s certainly no time to take your furnace for granted, and furnace maintenance is key.
It’s easy to forget about your furnace as it chugs away in the dark corners of your basement.
If the house feels chilly, we simply nudge the thermostat up a smidge, knowing that, in just a few moments, we’ll be feeling toasty again. But like any machine, your furnace needs a little regular TLC to be sure it’s working at its prime. Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your family is safe and warm for the rest of the winter, and avoid any costly disasters caused by furnace failure.
- Furnace filters. Furnace filters are designed to collect dirt. So guess what happens if they’re not changed on a regular basis? They collect so much dirt that the furnace has to work extra hard to do what you’re asking it to do. And eventually that extra strain will lead to your furnace breaking down. This is something you can take care of yourself. Make a note on your calendar to check and change (if needed) your filters every three months. And since there are so many different shapes and sizes of filters out there, it’s a good idea to not only write down the number, but also take a picture of yours before you head to the store.
- Schedule annual furnace maintenance. There are a few moving parts in your furnace that can fail, and any of them can jeopardize your ability to keep your house warm.
- The thermostat. It can become decalibrated, which can cause the furnace to either stop triggering, or trigger too often.
- The pilot light or electrical ignition. Without this key component, you’ll hear the furnace kicking on and off, but you won’t feel any heat. The pilot light or electric starter on your furnace needs to be checked annually.
- The blower motor. The blower motor is what moves the warm air around your house. So if you put your hands in front of register and you don’t feel heat coming out, the blower motor is the culprit. Keep your ducts clean and your furnace regularly tuned up to ensure that warm air is circulating with maximum efficiency.
Winter is a great time to bundle up and enjoy cold weather activities in the great outdoors. But we certainly don’t want to have to bundle up while watching a movie with the family or reading a book. So make sure to add taking good care of your furnace to your to-do list, to keep your family safe, happy, healthy and warm until spring comes back around.
However, if disaster does happen to strike, know that the team of experienced and certified disaster restoration experts at Hays + Sons is only a phone call away: 800-536-4056.