All the statistics in the world can’t measure the warmth of a smile, but a good thermometer can tell you why your feet feel cold at night.
It’s that time again. You’ve already noticed that the leaves are changing, and have a feeling that frost might need scraping off your car windows soon in the morning. You might have already added extra layers to your wardrobe, and soon you’ll need to start turning on the furnace to ensure that your home is warm enough. If you live in the foothills of the east side you may have already had a few chilly moments.
However, before you turn on the furnace, you should consider the importance of ensuring that it is well-maintained. Giving your furnace a tune up is just as essential as keeping an automobile tuned and lubed. Machines need periodic updates and adjustments for proper functioning. How often should this be done? It is recommended that you do this annually before you fire up your furnace. Getting your furnace tuned up will help reduce the possibility of breakdowns during the winter. When you need your furnace to be working for you, you don’t want to be waiting for a repair company to come.
By taking the time now, to properly care for your furnace, you can save yourself frustrations later. Also, having a properly functioning furnace is better for the environment. When your furnace is in tip-top shape, it means it is running at its most efficient setting, and creating its lowest amount of emissions. By doing this we also reduce the odds of breakdowns. Here in the Pacific Northwest we also strive to reduce our carbon footprint.
By inspecting and tuning up your furnace or HVAC system for the upcoming season, you’re also helping to ensure the safety of yourself and your family. Furnaces have the potential for fire hazards and carbon monoxide leaks, both of which can be deadly to you and your loved ones.
My friend of John Day, of Furnace Doctors reminds us, “One faulty part strains the rest of a furnace system, and can lead to breakdowns.”
If you have had to turn on your furnace before having someone come out and inspect it, you should keep your eye out for the color of the flame as it can be an indicator of a problem. Other potential issues include rusty furnace components, clogged air-filters, and soot build-up.
John Day, suggests a non-furnace improvement for homes as well. John says, “Most furnaces are found in the basement, out of sight and out of mind. Basements tend to attract family junk. It’s important to not only keep an open path to the furnace, so we can reach it and work on it, but there should also be a three to five foot area around your furnace that’s open and free of boxes and other stored items. A furnace runs smoother when the air can circulate around it. A furnace generates heat for the home, but it also concentrates that heat at the source. So, we like to see combustibles well away from the furnace. A furnace is just like us. We all need a little space to operate at our peak.”
When you have your annual inspection of your furnace done, don’t be afraid to ask questions, so that you’ll know what to watch for as you operate your furnace. Furnace inspection time is also an excellent time to replace batteries in carbon dioxide sensors as well as your fire and smoke alarms. You might also be interested in the new mobile thermostats. Also, always hire a trusted professional who is aware of all the ins and outs of your furnace, so that you, your family and your furnace are in the best of hands . . . and prepared for a cold winter’s nap.