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Furnace Maintenance: Preparing for Winter
December 7, 2012
When the winter winds start to blow, you’ll want to throw on a sweater, put an extra blanket on your bed, and turn up your furnace a degree or two.
You rely on your furnace to keep you and your family warm and cozy in your home all winter long, and count on it to do so as efficiently as possible. But even energy efficient furnaces can burn more fuel than they’re supposed to without proper maintenance, driving your wintertime energy costs up.
Improve Furnace Efficiency
A well-maintained furnace will keep your home cozy and warm, and your family healthy by clearing the air of bacteria and dust.
To maintain peak performance of your furnace, we recommend you have it professionally serviced once a year. It’s usually best to do this at the end of the season (in spring) but if you can’t remember the last time it was serviced you shouldn’t hesitate. A RESNET certified professional can help.
When a certified professional visits your home for an annual maintenance appointment, they’ll start by examining the heat source and distribution system. They’ll also clear it of dirt—your system’s worst enemy—plus lubricate the motor and adjust the belts.
You can do your own furnace maintenance, but for peace of mind and to ensure that you’re not violating the terms of your furnace warranty, we advise that you call in a trusted, RESNET-certified professional. You can find one in your area here.
Bonus Tips for Improving Efficiency of Furnace
- Make sure that your vents aren’t obstructed by drapes, carpeting or furniture.
- Have your ducts cleaned regularly—a properly cleaned and sealed duct and vent system can improve energy efficiency by as much as 20%.
- Seal air leaks throughout your home—especially around windows, doors, and any openings to the outside.
- Lower your thermostat when you and your family leave for work and school, or install a programmable thermostat.
- Your furnace filter should be replaced or cleaned at the beginning of the season, then once a month during periods of continuous use.
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