If your home has a furnace, there are a few basic things you need to understand about it. The more you know about the components that make your life more comfortable, the better.
You’re probably familiar with the fact that your HVAC system has three main components. Aside from your furnace you probably have an air conditioner or heat pump outside and a thermostat. You may also have an air cleaner and/or some form of humidity control.
These days most homes with furnaces either have single-stage or variable speed units. These systems are exactly as they sound: a single stage heating component runs on one speed and one speed only. Variable speed systems analyze whats going on with the air in your house versus what temperature you’ve set your thermostat. It then calculates what speed it needs to run on to make your request happen the most efficiently. Single stage systems aren’t able to keep the air within the home consistent as a variable-speed system can.
If you have an old system, you have outdated technology. While I’m not the person to go out and purchase the newest iPhone, I do recommend upgrading your system about every 10-15 years. With how quickly technology is advancing, a 10 year old system is going to cost a lot more to run than a brand new system with 97% efficiency.
The best way to think about efficiency is to think in terms of how much heat your system produces and how much it loses. A furnace that is 97% efficient is only losing 3% of what it’s producing. In case you’re unaware of the average numbers on all this, that’s really low and exactly where you want it to be.
The filter inside your furnace needs to be changed every 30 days. This may sound like some sort of money making scheme at first, but once you understand the true purpose of your filter, you won’t see it like that at all. Your filter is typically close to your blower housing. This is where EVERY bit of air passes through to be pushed out into your home. This area needs to stay clean in order to run properly. Let’s say you forgot to change your filter for an entire year. You’d have A LOT of gunk built up on your filter. That has been trickling into your blower housing. Now that space is incredibly dusty around moving parts. This is where you’ll start to see parts fail. Don’t do that to yourself.
Your system needs to be maintained at the beginning of heating season every year. This isn’t one of those things you want to skimp on. Unfortunately, gas heating system do pose some serious fire hazards. By having a technician inspect your system, you reduce these risks significantly. We train our technicians to look for such hazards. Recently, during routine maintenance, one of our technicians found that our customers safety switch had failed! Luckily he was able to cut power to the system quickly once the flames began. If this customer had procrastinated and didn’t have his system checked, that could have very easily lead to his entire house burning down.
Need more help with your furnace? We can be reached at 770-672-6963.
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If you want even more information, visit Energy Star.