Your heating system at home such as your natural or gas furnace requires regular maintenance and cleaning. Just like any other equipment that you can't do without (especially these chilly autumn days ushering the winter season), you need to make sure that your furnace is running efficiently and keeping you comfortably warm.
As the chilly autumn winds are here, make sure you keep your home furnace well maintained so it serves its purpose efficiently in the coming winter months. But even the most reliable unit has its limitations and will someday lose its luster as far as performance is concerned.
But how exactly can you tell if your furnace is up for a repair or replacement? Here are some things to consider:
1. Your natural gas or oil furnace is over 12 years old.
Home furnaces typically have a life expectancy of up to 20 years. If yours has been around for over a decade, consider replacing it. Experts say that with age, even the most well maintained furnace can possibly perform poorly, show signs of damage and start making strange noises. Make sure you don't fall into the "panic replacement" trap; shop for a new furnace before your old unit finally falters.
2. Your electric bills are suddenly skyrocketing.
An old, inefficient, or defective furnace works longer and twice as hard to provide your home with the right amount of heat. This results in an unusual, sudden rise in your electric bill, which is one of the biggest repair or replacement signs to look out for.
3. Your furnace's latest repair or maintenance service was 2 years ago.
In many cases, serious furnace problems occur when no repairs or parts replacement was made in the last two years. If your furnace had zero maintenance within this period, consider it as a breakdown (and a major headache) waiting to happen.
4. Your room feels too cold or too hot for comfort.
Room temperatures should be set to give you greater comfort. If you think the thermostat isn't working no matter how you adjust it, your furnace might not be giving off enough heat or distributing the air properly.
5. There are signs of carbon monoxide emission.
Carbon monoxide leakage is a definite health hazard; it can even be fatal. The bad news is, this odorless gas can enter your home undetected. If your family suffers from unexplained yet frequent nausea, excessively dry skin, disorientation, allergies, burning of the eyes or nose and flu, check for cracks in your heat exchanges and seek immediate repair services.
With proper, scheduled maintenance and immediate repairs, you are ensuring the comfort of your household when the temperature drops. It is also a way to keep the indoor air quality in your home safe and healthy for your family. Also, you should be able to spot the warning signs before they worsen to help you save money. Keeping a close eye on your home furnace also helps you save costly repairs down the line.