As another frosty Michigan winter arrives, it’s the perfect time of year to start thinking about how to keep our homes warm and cozy by maintaining furnace efficiency. Learn how to save money on heating this winter by following a few easy tips to keep your furnace in top shape.
Replace Furnace Filters
You furnace air filters are essential to keeping dust and debris out of your unit to ensure it runs efficiently. Check your filters regularly and replace them every 1-2 months for optimum performance. This is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to maintain furnace efficiency all winter long.
Clear Blocked Vents
In colder climates, snow and ice can block furnace vents, making it difficult for the exhaust to escape. With a simple understanding of how furnace exhaust exits your home, you can be sure to keep these openings free of blockages.
Clean Your Furnace Flame Sensor
Your furnace flame sensor is essential to your furnace working safely. The furnace flame sensor detects when a flame is lit, and prevents dangerous gases from being released by turning the furnace off when it is not lit. Your furnace flame sensor is a vital and sensitive part within your furnace. If your furnace flame sensor is in need of attention, your furnace may start up, and then immediately stop. This may be due to a faulty furnace flame sensor, but it’s very likely it just needs to be cleaned. If so, dust or debris may be visible on the tip of the furnace flame sensor.
Check Your Thermostat
Some of the most common questions we receive are about thermostat usage. Particularly, people ask “what should the heat be set at during winter?”
Many of our customers are surprised to learn that reducing your heater temperature during winter is often advised. In order to minimize furnace exertion, consider setting your thermostat three to five degrees lower than you normally would. If you tend to have your home set at 72°F, consider 68°F during extreme cold spells.
Don’t forget to check your thermostat battery. You don’t want your climate control to stop functioning when the temperature drops. Many homeowners change their thermostat battery once a year, just before the cold sets in. However, the lifecycle of a thermostat battery can vary, from months to years. Always change the thermostat battery if you see a light indicating that it is time to do so.
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, consider investing in one. A programmable thermostat will enable you to save energy and will reduce your heating costs.
Prevent Furnace Short Cycling
A flame sensor prevents the gas valve from continuing to allow gas to flow if it senses that the gas isn’t burning properly. This prevents a furnace from “staying lit”. A high-limit switch, or “temperature sensor” as most people would think of it, senses when the air temperature has risen too high inside the furnace and shuts the gas valve off to prevent damage. The high temperature can be caused by a dirty filter, problems with the blower motor, or blocked registers; pretty much anything that prevents air from flowing through the ducts at the rate it needs. Sometimes a temperature sensor can be faulty itself and be the cause of short cycling.
Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up
During the cold winter months, it’s essential that your furnace runs correctly. You want it to function properly and cost you as little as possible. The first step towards furnace efficiency is to have a reliable heating and cooling team perform proper maintenance on your unit. Ensuring your furnace is at the top of its game is the best way to save money on heating during winter.
There are many furnace maintenance tasks that are best left to professionals, including adjusting gas pressure, inspecting parts for wear, and furnace repairs. Regular furnace tune-ups can also uncover problems in time to prevent extensive damage, from leaking condensate drain piping to loose parts.
Contact Vredevoogd Heating & Cooling
With a clear plan in place to stay comfortable without breaking the bank this winter, you can enjoy the beauty of every Michigan snowfall from the warmth and comfort of your own home. Contact Vredevoogd Heating & Cooling today to schedule your furnace tune-up, tackle furnace short cycling, replace your non-programmable thermostat and more.