Winter conditions in our North Dakota and Minnesota regions can be extremely harsh, which can cause some strain on your heating equipment. Furnaces are designed to handle the colder temperatures to keep you warm all season. However, there are some things you should do 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 your thermostat. Keep this habit in check and avoid constantly changing your indoor temperature, which can strain your furnace as it works overtime to regulate the heat.
Set your programmable thermostat to a comfortable, 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.
Keep Vents Clear
Heating equipment – including high-efficiency furnaces, boilers 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 your 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 has to work harder than it should to produce your desired comfort level.
Dirty, clogged filters also mean that they can no longer properly filter the air. This causes additional debris and allergens to circulate through your ductwork 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.
An essential part of preparing your furnace for winter is maintenance from a professional. Scheduling a preventative maintenance appointment before it’s too cold outside may catch any potential issues that could cause your system to break down.
It’s wise to have a professional service technician check your equipment at the beginning and end of heating season to ensure everything is running optimally. Have your furnace checked in early fall, before you have to use it much, and in 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.
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 recognize signs of aging, you may want to start planning for replacement soon. However, 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 has inconsistent maintenance history, hazardous issues can arise that decrease energy efficiency and increase operational costs. Speak with one of our heating specialists to make sure your home is safe, and discuss replacement options that fit your needs and budget.
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 or the best heating options for your home, contact us today.