5 Furnace Maintenance Myths, Busted
Georgia emergency-heating HVAC techs separate fact from fiction when it comes to the care and repair of your furnace
Do you know the brand of your home furnace or heater? How about it’s size or energy efficiency? If so, that’s more than most people can say.
In fact, few people know how to properly take care of their home furnace. As a result, fixing their heater when it breaks down in the dead of winter ends up costing an arm and leg—proving that the saying what you don’t know can’t hurt you is perhaps the greatest myth of all, at least when it comes to HVAC maintenance.
So let’s set the record straight. Scroll down to find out five more myths about furnace maintenance and how to keep your heater running efficiently and economically.
Myth #1: A furnace filter only needs to be replaced once during the heating season and once during the cooling season.
Truth: How often your furnace filter needs changing (as well as your air conditioning filter, for that matter) depends on three main factors: system operating time , quality of filter , and location .
It is common sense that the longer you run your furnace, the more frequently the filter will get clogged up and need to be replaced, but also what a filter is made of also has an impact on how often you will need to change it out. For instance, cheap fiberglass mesh filters go bad quicker (typically monthly) than better quality pleated HEPA filters.
Lastly, location plays a key role in the lifespan of your filter. If you live in well-developed area with lush landscaping, then your filter will typically last longer than homes in dry, arid and dusty regions.
Myth #2: Hot and cold spots in my home are normal.
Truth: Hot and cold spots indicate that your furnace is having trouble appropriately distributing the heated air throughout your home. A heating technician can conduct a load calculation to eliminate this problem in most homes and businesses.
Myth #3: I don’t need regular HVAC maintenance.
Truth: Some people try to save a few bucks by foregoing their annual heating and air conditioning maintenance, and instead calling a repairman only when they have a problem with their system. However, the truth is that obtaining annual maintenance on your HVAC system increases the lifespan of your unit and allows technicians to catch minor problems before they become serious (and costly) fixes, so you won’t have to buy a completely new system as often.
You wouldn’t go a year without getting your car’s oil changed, would you? Scheduling regular HVAC maintenance on your furnace is just as important.
Myth #4: My furnace works fine, so I don’t need to replace it.
Truth: If your furnace is more than 10 years old, it lacks the efficiency of new heating equipment. By installing a new energy-efficient gas furnace with a cost-savings of up to 96.6% AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), the expense of purchase and installation pays for itself in only a couple years, and can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. This doesn’t even include the $150 tax credit you can receive when choosing a qualifying furnace.
You should also be alert to the following signs that indicate it may be time to replace your furnace, even if it is still functioning:
• Your utility bills are higher than normal. Furnaces lose efficiency with age, especially if they have not had regular maintenance.
• The furnace is making unusual noises. This is a typical sign that a furnace is about to break down. If you start hearing popping, squealing, banging or rattling sounds, it’s time to start shopping for a new furnace.
• The burner flame is yellow. Furnace burner flames are supposed to be blue. A yellow flame may indicate a possible carbon monoxide hazard. Call a furnace expert to test for dangerous gases immediately.
• You have already repaired your furnace within the last two years. Furnaces are known to break down more often in the last two years of their life. The older your furnace is, the harder it will be to find the right parts to fix the problem, leaving you and your family without heat during cold months.
Myth #5: The most important decision to make when buying a new furnace is what brand.
Truth: While it is important to shop around and look into a variety of furnace brands, sizes, and types before deciding which one to bring into your home, even the best furnaces in the world will do a poor job of keeping your home warm and delivering its high-efficiency rating if improperly installed.
“The most important steps in selecting a furnace,” according to Consumer Reports, “are to ensure that the unit’s specifications fit your needs, that it is bought from a contractor who installs it well , and that it’s adequately maintained.”
In other words, choosing a contractor that knows what they’re doing is one of the most critical decisions you can make when installing a new furnace.
If you are looking to replace your furnace or heater, make the right choice today by contacting an experienced emergency heating technician at Gagne A/C .
Our Georgia-certified HVAC contractors service both residential and commercial customers throughout the Atlanta area, providing 100% satisfaction guaranteed repairs, maintenance, and installation of all furnaces and heating products.
Call us anytime, day or night, at 678-221-4328 for emergency heating repairs or service .