A furnace is an investment that pays off when the temperatures dip. You definitely want to make sure that your furnace is in good shape by the time winter hits. Here are four easy ways to get the most out of your furnace.
Direct dust away from your pilot light with a straw.
The pilot light is a good indicator of how well your furnace is working. It should be a steady, small flame of yellow with a blue halo. If the pilot light is comprised, then it usually starts flickering and turns a sickly yellow. To keep the pilot light clear of dust and debris, you can use a drinking straw to gently blow dust away from the pilot light. Make sure that you direct your stream of air away from the flame so that you do not extinguish it.
Schedule yearly maintenance in the fall.
You should have a professional HVAC technician out to service your furnace once a year. Fall is an ideal time to schedule this visit, especially in the earlier months, since the professional is able to troubleshoot any underlying problems before the weather starts getting really chilly. The HVAC technician is able to identify any small problems before they become large, costly ones that require a lot of money to repair.
Change your air filter every few weeks.
The air filter keeps the ducts clean while your furnace circuits hot air through your house. If it collects too much grime, then it no longer functions properly and you can have dirty air circulating in your home and grime collecting in your ducts. Replace pleated paper air filters every few weeks, especially if you are running your furnace often. You can wash permanent air filters in warm, soapy water and allow them to dry flat in a cool, dry place to keep the shape from warping. You can also run your permanent air filter through the dishwasher as long as you turn the hot drying cycle off.
Use a programmable thermostat to manage energy use.
Set a programmable thermostat to specific times so that your house is warm and toasty when you get home. You can also schedule it to turn off at specific times. This helps you to save money on your utility bill and to manage your energy use. You no longer have to leave your heater running all day to keep your house warm.