Most homes in our neck of the woods rely on forced-air furnaces for heat during the winter. They heat the air inside their system, then blow it to the corners of your home through a system of ducts hidden in your attic and the crawlspaces of your walls. It’s inexpensive and works very well. We still have a few more weeks of winter left, but spring tends to come early in Austin, and before long you’ll be turning off your furnace and turning on your air conditioner for the summer. That makes this the perfect time of year to perform some checks and maintenance on your furnace in preparation for the coming spring.
Get It Serviced
Furnaces suffer from wear and tear just like any other appliance, and that damage can add up over time. The best way to prevent it is to schedule a maintenance session from a trained technician once or twice a year. Doing so will help curtail that wear and tear: reducing the risk of greater breakdowns, lowering the monthly cost of running the heater and—when applied over time—helping extend the life of the heater overall.
If more work is needed on the furnace, a maintenance session gives the technician a chance to spot the problem before it interferes with the functioning of the furnace. And spotting the problem in late winter or early spring gives you the entire summer to plan for expert repairs at your leisure.
You Can Take Steps Yourself
In addition to formal treatment from a professional technician, you yourself can take some concrete steps to help get your furnace ready for the off-season. They can include:
- Changing or cleaning the filters. Air filters can be purchased for little money at any hardware store or home improvement center. In some cases, you may need to replace the filter more often, but if you don’t, the end of heating season is an ideal time to do it.
- Checking the batteries on your carbon monoxide detector, which can alert you to any potential gas leaks in the event of trouble.
- Putting out the pilot light if you have an older furnace. It will save you money on fuel and prevent wear and tear to the ignition system, though you should only do so if you’re certain you won’t have need of the system until next fall.
Do You Need a New Furnace?
If your furnace’s warranty has expired and the costs of running it are getting too high, now is a good time to start exploring your options for replacing it. Doing so now gives you months to plan and find a proper replacement, then schedule the replacement during the summer when you have no need of your system. Consult with your service professional about your options for a new furnace—or whether you can get another few years out of your existing model—before making that call.
If you need quality furnace service in Austin, TX, give the pros at Intelligent Air Services a call!