I have an older forced-air gas furnace. How can I enhance its efficiency and keep it operating safely throughout the winter?
As the coldest months of the year fall upon us, a furnace may operate for up to 15 hours a day. In order to ensure its safe and efficient operation, proper care and maintenance is your best defense against unsafe conditions
Follow the guidelines below to keep your furnace operating safely and efficiently.
- To reduce fuel consumption by 20 percent, install a programmable thermostat to allow the furnace to operate at lower temperatures when the home is not occupied, or while you are sleeping
- Clean or replace furnace filters every two months or as required
- Keep combustible materials or obstructions away from the furnace area
- Keep cold air returns and heat distribution vents free and clear of obstructions to allow proper flow of air
- Ensure that an adequate supply of combustion air is available for the appliance to function properly.
- Combustion air is the air that mixes with fuel to allow combustion to occur
- Have a professional clean your ducting properly every three to five years
- Contact a licensed, qualified heating contractor each year to perform routine service and maintenance as per manufacturer’s specifications
In addition, consider replacing your forced-air gas furnace with a high efficiency model. Did you know that for every $1 that is spent on gas for a conventional forced-air gas furnace, approximately 30 cents goes up the chimney, while every dollar that is spent on gas for a high efficiency furnace results in the loss of 10 cents or less? Upgrading to a high-efficiency furnace can provide a substantial cost savings for a homeowner.
Visit the home inspection experts at AmeriSpec of Canada for more tips and valuable home improvement information.