Monday, August 20, 2012

Furnace Tune Ups and Yearly Maintenance Save Families Money

With regular furnace tune ups your heating and cooling bills can decrease substantially.  I am sure you have felt the pinch most of us are feeling with the rise of home heating bills.  The national average per year families spent to heat their homes was upwards of one thousand dollars.  It is obvious that anything that can be done to decrease this number and minimize your heating costs should be.  One thing to consider is giving your furnace a professional tune up to ensure that it is working efficiently. 

Your homes heating system is made up of essentially different components one is the heating sensor or thermostat.  This piece measures the temperature inside of the home environment and determines when the temperature needs to be increased. 

When the room’s temperature decreases the thermostat tells the heater it is time for the blower to turn on.  The ignition in the heater creates heat which is distributed while the furnaces blower moves the air throughout the duct work and distributes it into the house. The cool air in the room is cycled into the return ducts that are placed throughout the house and is warmed.  This warm air out, cool air in sequence continues until the temperature in the room is the temperature requested and then sends an indication that the furnace can shut down.

Something to remember is that HVAC furnaces are mechanical systems.  This means that they need to be maintained in order to continue to work at optimal performance.   It is so important that a tune-up is done by a professional HVAC technician to maintain your heating system. 

When a furnace expert is out to complete a tune up on your heating system the first thing they will do is take a look at your furnace.  Professional furnace repair technicians will look for soot and residue around the furnace.  They will follow this by inspecting the furnaces thermostat by increasing the temperature.  This will allow the furnace to ignite and allow the technician to check out the flames within the burner.  The technician will check to ensure the flame is steady and burning blue.  If the flame is orange, yellow and/or flickering this can be an early indicator that the furnace combustion is not adequate.

The next step the technician will undertake is to turn the thermostat down to let the furnace cool down.  They will turn of the circuit breaker to the furnace and continue to examine the interior components.  Once the system has cooled the technician will remove the sides of the furnace and suck out the accumulated dust and debris from the system.  They will then use a clean, damp cloth to continue to clean the system.  A rag can be used to clean the blades of the fans and blowers. While the sides are off this is when oil can be added to the shaft to keep things moving as they should be.

If your furnace has a belt the technician will check to ensure there are no breaks or splits in the belt.  They will also ensure the tension on the belt is correct.  If there are any cracks within the belt or if the tension has become loose the belt will be replaced. Once all of this has been completed the furnace is ready to be put back together and the circuit breaker can be turned back on. 

The last thing that the technician will do is put a fresh filter in and remind you that it is good practice to change your furnaces filters once a month during the heating season.  It all seems so simple however should be left up to the professionals.  A HVAC contractor is licensed and trained to work inside the complex heating system.  In the long run it save you money have the professional do the job right the first time instead of coming out to fix your mishap.  You won’t be sorry and you will make up the expense in the money you save on your monthly heating bills.

Maintenance For In Between Professional Furnace Tune ups

My favorite memory of my dad and my son revolve around furnace maintenance.  Isn’t that an odd favorite memory?  It’s true though.  My dad was fixing his furnace, as he seemed to do at least one a season, and my son went over and started to tinker with him and hand him tools. Then it happened, frustration.  Thankfully my dad was able to control it when he saw those two eyes peering up at him.

Have you ever felt such frustration when your furnace decides to stop working in the middle of the winter on an incredibly bitter day?  This article can help you avoid frustration by teaching you some basic maintenance techniques that can help stage off aggravation and help to minimize problems that are unexpected.  Although it is best to schedule a professional furnace tune up once a year with a technician the following do it yourself tips help ward off the expensive furnace melt down that is inevitable otherwise.

The first tip whenever doing work on your own furnace without professional assistance is to make sure the power is completely shut off to the furnace.  This ensures the motor does not start while you are tinkering on the furnace.  There are things such as changing the filter that can be done without turning off the furnace however most other maintenance requires caution.  On top of turning off the power it is smart to turn off the fuel supply as well be it gas or oil that your furnace runs off of.  Before you do these steps however make sure you know how to relight the pilot light.  If you don’t know how to do this and you do turn off the power supply you will find yourself calling in the professionals so you won’t have saved yourself any money.

One quick do it yourself tip that will instantly save you money and save energy is by replacing an old model thermostat with a new programmable digital thermostat.  With this type of model thermostat you will be able to program it so that the temperature automatically adjusts the temperature of your home to keep you comfortable when you are there and save money when you are not. 

At the very minimum homeowners should change their furnaces air filters in any forced air furnace monthly.  Purchasing a high quality thermostat should allow you a feature to remind you when should change the filter.  It will not matter on the quality of furnace filter chosen to use as long as you remember to regularly change it.  The filter you chose should be based upon the sensitivity to air-borne particles of the members in your family.  If you have pets consider a higher quality filter to help keep down the dander and hair in the air.  You should vacuum the blower and accessible areas of the furnace as well.  Dust will accumulate on the blades of the blower. With regular vacuuming this should be alleviated.

With a regularly schedule furnace tune ups from professionals and these regular maintenance tips you should help yourself avoid many common issues that can arise from maintenance not being kept up on.  It is the same as with a car, professionals do the big stuff but we as the car’s owners keep up on oil changes, washer solvent and tire rotations.  It is a combination of the things professional and homeowners bring to the table that will keep your furnace running smooth.