Furnace Tips: Prepare for Cold Weather and Extend Equipment Life

Couple sitting by furnace

Winter conditions in our North Dakota and Minnesota regions can be extremely harsh, which can cause some strain on your heating equipment. While furnaces are designed to handle the colder temperatures to keep you warm all season, there are a few things you should do in your home to help keep your furnace running at its best for years to come.

Set Thermostats to Conserve Energy

As the temperatures outside drop, it’s tempting to crank up the thermostat inside. Be mindful to keep this habit in check and avoid constantly changing your indoor temp, which can strain your furnace as it has to work overtime to regulate the heat.

Set your programmable thermostat to a comfortable yet conservative temperature for when you’re most likely to need it in your home, such as mornings and evenings. Keep it at a lower temp when you’re gone during the day or sleeping at night. These set times can help to lower utility costs, while keeping your furnace from overexerting itself.

Person adjusting a thermostat
Condensing furnace outlet

Keep Vents Clear

Heating equipment – including high-efficiency furnaces, water heaters and fireplaces – has exhaust vents on the outside of your home. Usually at ground level, these exhaust vents can easily become blocked or clogged by snow in the winter. It is vital to regularly check and clear the vents of any ice or snow that has accumulated to avoid malfunctions or potential breakdowns.

Check Filters Regularly

Filters are important to the overall health of your furnace and your home’s indoor air quality. A dirty or clogged filter means your heating equipment is having to work harder than it should to produce your desired comfort level.

A dirty, clogged filter also means that it can no longer properly filter the air, causing additional debris and allergens to circulate through your air delivery system and into your home. Regularly check your filter and replace it as needed to keep your air fresh and your furnace operating as efficiently as possible.

Clean furnace filter.
Technician doing electrical work

Preventative Maintenance

An essential part of preparing for winter and making sure your furnace is in good working condition is maintenance from a professional. Scheduling a preventative maintenance appointment before it’s too cold outside will help to catch any potential issues that could cause your system to malfunction or break down.

It’s advisable to check your equipment at the beginning and end of its use to make sure everything is operating at its best. For furnaces, it’s ideal to get it checked in the early fall, before you have to use it much, and again in the spring before you put the furnace into hibernation. At Bears Home Solutions, we offer Bear Care, an affordable preventative maintenance program that makes caring for your heating and cooling equipment easy.

Customer and HVAC service technician.

Know When to Replace Your Furnace

How long do furnaces last? This greatly depends on the amount of use and how well the equipment has been maintained over the years. If you’re having at least annual preventative maintenance performed on your furnace, most will last at least 15 years.

If your system is older or its maintenance history has been inconsistent, hazardous issues can arise and the lack of energy-efficiency can cause operational costs to increase. Speak to one of our heating specialists to make sure your home is safe, and discuss replacement options that fit your needs and budget.

Related: Save $250 Off New Daikin Furnace Install

Put these tips to good use this winter to help keep your furnace in good working condition for as long as possible. For more information on furnaces, best options for your home or installation estimates, contact us today.