Living in Edmonton in the winter months, your home heating system is the largest energy expense.
Did you know that on average, a furnace accounts for about 45 percent of the average Edmonton family’s energy bills?
A great way to ensure your furnace is both running properly and operating as efficiently as possible is to schedule regular maintenance and periodic checkups.
In Edmonton, most wait until a furnace problem exists. Yet in most cases, a problem arises after damage has already begun. To catch a problem early ensures that your equipment remains fully functional and operational, no matter if it sits for weeks without use, or is used 24 hours per day.
With regular care, you’ll experience less downtime. This simple checklist will help you maintain the life of your furnace.
The filter in your furnace serves a crucial job in the process of delivering warm air throughout the rooms in your home. A furnace filter is usually installed where the return duct enters your furnace. It removes particulates from the air before it moves into the furnace equipment and is heated. A furnace filter will remove all kinds of particulates, including dust, dust mites, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, spores, and more.
Inexpensive filters provide basic protection. They are designed to catch a high percentage of the particles that flow through your home. More expensive air filters offer improved air quality, which can help individuals who may suffer from allergies or asthma.
If the airflow is impeded by a dirty air filter, the furnace will have inadequate airflow and won’t operate as efficiently as it was designed. Inexpensive air filters should be changed anywhere from 30 to 90 days. More expensive disposable pleated air filters may last three months or longer depending on the quality of your furnace. Look to your manufacturer’s recommendations, or ask one of Legacy Heating & Cooling’s Certified Technicians for more information.
The furnace blower motor drives the fan that provides air movement for the furnace. A furnace’s heating element heats the heat exchanger until it reaches the desired temperature, then the blower motor pushes the air through the heat exchanger. This warms the air and distributes it throughout the home. In addition to providing air for the furnace, most furnace blowers also provide air for the air conditioning system as well.
The furnace blower is also where the air filter is installed. The blower motor has a lot of working parts, and if not well maintained, can begin to break down. A noisy furnace blower can indicate a problem either with the blower’s electric motor or with the blower wheel. High, shrill sounds can indicate two metal surfaces are grinding against one another. It can be from the blower wheel coming loose from the blower motor’s shaft and scraping the internal housing. A loud humming usually indicates an electrical problem. A trained technician from Legacy Heating & Cooling can help you identify the source and make changes before it begins to deteriorate the equipment.
Any weakness in the structural shell of your home allows Edmonton’s cold winter air to seep in and warm air to leak out. Sealing up your home’s envelope reduces heat load, which is the amount of heat needed to keep your house comfortably warm. To identify major sources of heating loss within your home, Legacy Heating & Cooling in Edmonton can provide a home energy audit to determine where your home’s weaknesses exist.
Using specialized equipment and infrared cameras, Legacy Heating & Cooling can determine where your home has the biggest problems, and help you determine the best places to make improvements. Projects can include things like weather stripping windows and doors, sealing and insulating ductwork, or adding insulation to the attic.
In order for your heating system to work properly, the air in your house must circulate completely throughout the system. That means your furnace should be fully operational. It also means your vents are clear and working properly. Are all vents in your home open, adjusted to allow air to flow freely, and free of furniture, boxes, or other household items blocking the path? Closing a vent down or blocking it can cause the furnace to work hard and less efficiently, eventually damaging it before its time.
As with all systems, your entire heating and cooling system needs to be cleaned and regularly maintained to ensure it’s in good operating condition. Take a quick walk around at the start of each season. Are all vents accessible? Are floor registers free of debris, pet hair, dust and scraps of paper? Anything inside the vents can move down into the ductwork and reduce efficiency. Remove floor registers and use a vacuum to clean up any messes that occur near them. You can also consider having your ductwork cleaned in your Edmonton home by Legacy Heating & Cooling, especially if you have made significant renovations to your home, or it’s been several years since they were cleaned.
Maintaining your furnace doesn’t take too much time or effort to keep it in perfect working condition. A little common sense and a small amount of TLC each year can keep a lot of the issues at bay. If you have a question, we are here to help. Just give us a call.