Shifting from the air conditioner to the furnace can put a heavy strain on your HVAC system. Even if the air conditioner worked fine over the summer and the unit turns on when you switch to heat, the system may not be functioning to its full capacity, which can result in higher energy bills and possibly cause the system to fail.
This is why it’s so important to have your furnace, thermostat and ductwork inspected. This check will ensure all of the components and parts of the HVAC are working as they should. By addressing any issue at the first sign of a problem, it can help to reduce more severe problems in the long run. Although it is recommended that you have a professional HVAC company inspect the system, there are a few DIY maintenance things you can do to help keep the furnace running at its best.
Clean the Condenser or Heat Pump
An outdoor air conditioner or heat pump can get extremely dirty, which will cause the system to work harder to create the degree of cold and warm air you want in your home. A clean system will be much more effective and it will help to reduce the risk of damage to any internal parts. It is essential that you make sure there is no debris on the top and sides of an outdoor air-conditioning unit or the heat pump. Frequently check to make there are no leaves, pollen and/or twigs on the unit and there should be at least a 2-foot clearance around outdoor heat pumps and air conditioning units.
Check the Filter
One of the most common reasons for furnace repair in Ohio is a dirty air filter. Changing the filter is one of the easiest types of HVAC maintenance you can do to improve the efficiency of your furnace as well as reduce the energy costs for heating your home. The filter should be checked once per month to make sure it isn’t dirty and/or clogged. Change your filter about once every three months, but if it looks dirty, change it as often as necessary. If you have pets, the filter may need to be changed monthly.
Get a Tune-Up
A tune-up consists of an on-site visit from an HVAC technician who will check the system to ensure it is providing optimum performance. In most situations, there is a multi-point inspection done by the technician which may include:
- Checking (or changing) the air filter
- Checking refrigerant levels
- Cleaning the coils
- Checking for leaks in the heat exchanger
- Making sure the fan is working correctly
- Cleaning drain lines.
A tune-up can be a one-time event or it can be provided yearly as part of your regularly scheduled maintenance.
Control the Thermostat
One of the easiest ways to save money on your heating bill is by controlling the thermostat. If you notice the house doesn’t get warm regardless of how high the temperature is set, you may have a faulty thermostat. A programmable thermostat is a great option because it allows you to adjust the settings according to when you need the most heat. For example, it can be programmed to automatically reduce the temperature while you are sleeping and raise it just before you get out of bed. Most programmable thermostats are pre-programmed for the average household, so it’s essential that you check the settings on a programmable thermostat to make sure it is adjusted to your specific needs.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
The best way to ensure your HVAC system is operating efficiently is with regular maintenance. Scheduling regular preventive maintenance ensures peak performance and trouble-free operation. Having the furnace and ductwork inspected will also help prevent costly energy bills as well as expensive, unexpected repair bills.
Don’t risk the furnace going out in the middle of the winter! Contact Buckeye Heating & Cooling today to schedule an inspection and maintenance appointment for your furnace.