With Winter Approaching, It’s Time to Prepare Your Furnace
After another consecutive, recorded hottest year on record (San Luis Obispo reported at 115 degrees), cooler temperatures have finally started to make it feel a bit more like autumn and winter here on the Central Coast. As the nights get cooler, more and more residents are shutting down the air conditioners, and firing up the heaters for the first time in a year.
For many, turning on their furnace results in a service call. Austin Streamland, lead HVAC technician for smart72, says those are the majority of calls he’s been receiving the past few weeks.
“We’re getting a lot of calls about people’s heaters not working,” Streamland said.
Last Wednesday, he was repairing a furnace at a home in Paso Robles. Even without regular maintenance, those have a life expectancy of 15 years.
“That’s when you really need to be checking it twice a year for safety, getting it serviced regularly,” Streamland said.
Local Templeton California residents, Ashley and Morgan Marshall, made the decision to get their decades-old furnace inspected.
“We want to make sure everything is working effectively and efficiently,” Ashley said. “It makes loud noises, it comes on really quickly like that ‘whoosh’ sound. There’s some rooms that are warmer and cooler.”
While the Marshalls’ furnace wasn’t busted, Austin says there are a common issues furnaces experience that prevent them from working at optimal performance.
Air filters and malfunctioning pilot lights are the most common issues heaters face. Followed by problems with the heat exchanger, and main fan that allows circulation through the home. Followed by internal electronic components in the system.
Swapping out your air filters is easy maintenance you can do yourself. smart72 recommends inspecting filters every 3-6 months and should replace according to usage and wear.
Top Tips for Furnace & Heater Maintenance
Check for Gas Leaks
Gas appliances can strike anytime, ensure you exercise safety measures. Before you begin cleaning and checking your gas furnace always turn it off. Verify the power system and any circuits connecting to the furnace are off. Check for gas leaks before you begin cleaning. If you notice a leak, immediately request help from a professional. Stay far away from the gas until it is fixed. Once everything is perfect, proceed with your cleaning.
Clean and Replace Air Filters
The air filter system is both the easiest and one of the most important factors in heater maintenance. It prevents dirt and debris from entering the furnace. It is recommended that every gas furnace owner replace or clean the filter continuously depending on the amount of usage. Over time the trapped dust, dirt, and debris will inevitably accumulate. If it is completely clogged, consider doing a replacement. They are not expensive parts. Change the air filter and prevent your gas furnace from malfunctioning.
Check the Thermostat
Is your thermostat not accurately setting a correct temperature in your home or business? If yes, know that there is a problem with your thermostat especially if it has been working for many years. Chances are your thermostat has stopped working and needs to be replaced. Many new smart thermostats allow you to control the home’s temperature remotely from an app. This is great for homeowners who run vacation rentals, or residents who like to set their heating on a schedule.
Clean the Blower
When cleaning the filter system, the blower assembly should be the next priority. The blower is located right after the air filter. The little dust, dirt and debris that penetrates through the air filter goes into the blower. Cleaning the blower also requires properly cleaning the associated pulleys and belts to remove the accumulated dirt. Remove the panels that cover the filter to access the blower assembly. Use a damp cloth while cleaning the blower. Again, if this all sounds complex, local HVAC company smart72 provides furnace tune-ups at only $72.
Clean or Repair Furnace Ducts
Furnace ducts are prone to damage, especially when using a forced-air furnace. Cleaning ducts frequently using a high-powered vacuum cleaner can improve furnace efficiency, heat output, and air quality. Make sure after cleaning, you cover all ducts to prevent air from leaking into the furnace.
Clean the Vents
Gas furnaces are hooked with a venting system. This ventilation at some point can block due to large amounts of dust and debris. Blocked ventilation is dangerous and can cause lots of hazards to the users. Use a large brush to clean all the vents. Begin by removing the vent cover and clean the inside using the vacuum cleaner.
To avoid major repair costs to your heater or furnace, a thorough inspection can help save you money in the long run. Inspection done right the first time by professionals will save you time and mone. Aside from a general inspection, its fan components should also be checked. An inspection will reveal whether there are dust and other components on it. Make it a routine to take your gas furnace for a thorough inspection yearly.
Get a $72 Furnace Tune Up
Cleaning and maintaining your home or business’ furnace isn’t nearly as daunting once you’ve done it a few times. The hardest part is starting. With all the online guides around, there’s likely information available specific to your furnace. However if you’re busy, and want to ensure every component is inspected properly by a professional, a simple $72 tune-up from smart72 is a modest investment to ensure the longevity and efficiency for your home’s HVAC system.
smart72 is a San Luis Obispo based heating and air company serving the entire Central Coast from Santa Barbara to Monterey County. They specialize in residential and commercial HVAC maintenance, installation, design, and repair. Their SLO County locations include San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Atascadero, Arroyo Grande, Nipomo, Los Osos, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Templeton, Pismo Beach, Oceano, Cambria, Cayucos, Santa Maria, and surrounding communities.
1140 Kendall Rd, Suite C
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401