4 Tips to Make Your Furnace Last Longer
The average lifespan of the furnace in a residential central HVAC system is 15 to 20 years. This will vary slightly based on the type and quality of furnace you have, but maintaining your furnace plays an even more important role. Here are four tips that will help you get the longest possible life out of your furnace.
Maintain Adequate Airflow
Most residential furnaces and air handlers are designed to circulate a precise volume of air to meet the temperature setting on the thermostat. Blockages and other problems that throw off this air balance put extra strain on the furnace blower, which translates to increased energy usage and faster wear and tear. Maintaining adequate airflow allows for shorter cycle times that will reduce wear on the blower.
The most common airflow bottleneck in an HVAC system is a clogged furnace filter. The filter should be cleaned or replaced about once a month. Another place to check is the space around your outdoor condenser. Vegetation should be trimmed back and the unit should be cleaned to allow the fans to breathe. Finally, check your vent registers often to ensure they aren’t closed or blocked by furniture.
Avoid the On Setting
Most thermostats have two fan settings labeled Auto and On. This directly controls the blower inside the furnace air handler. The On setting causes the blower to run constantly, while the Auto setting causes it to only run while the furnace or air conditioner is in use. In almost all cases, the Auto setting is the only one that should be used.
Leaving your thermostat fan control set to On will naturally use more energy by running the blower fan constantly. Constant use of the fan will cause the fan bearings to wear out more quickly, so it is only recommended for specific purposes. For example, if you have a whole-house air purifier, the On setting will make better use of this add-on by constantly cycling air through it.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat or smart thermostat provides the most precise control possible over your HVAC system. By taking advantage of programmable settings and only running your furnace when it’s needed, you can reduce wear on the system even further. In addition to responding to temperature, programmable thermostats can set a schedule to run your system at specific times throughout the day.
Programming your furnace to shut off in the middle of the night or while you’re away at work is a great way to lower runtime hours and extend its life. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort. You can set your furnace to start up again shortly before you wake up or return home so that you never have to wait in a cold home for your furnace to start up.
Get an Annual Tune-Up
Furnaces are complex appliances, and homeowners can only do so much to maintain them. Hiring an HVAC technician for a professional tune-up once a year is the best thing you can do for the long-term health of your system.
During an annual maintenance visit, your technician will perform a thorough cleaning of your furnace, check that essential safety switches are working properly, and inspect internal components for signs of wear. These steps keep your furnace running efficiently and can catch hidden problems early before they become more serious and cause damage to your furnace.
The work you put in to maintain your furnace determines how many years of comfort and convenience you get out of it. Keep these tips in mind, and contact us at Baton Rouge Air Conditioning and Heating for all your HVAC service needs.