Even in Las Vegas, the nights can get freezing. No one wants to deal with a broken-down furnace in the middle of winter. Before you call your local furnace repair company to get your furnace back in working order, there are several things your HVAC tech wants you to know.
#1. You Can Prevent Many Repairs Yourself
The most common reason for unexpected heating and cooling failure is deferred or improper maintenance. Taking just a few moments every month or two to maintain your system can help you avoid costly repairs or even premature system failure. While it’s a good idea to have your furnace professionally inspected and maintained every year, you should also do the following yourself.
— Keep your registers and air vents clear. Make sure you don’t pile anything in front of vents that can impede air flow and make your system work harder.
— Clean the exterior of the central AC system. Remove leaves and debris and make sure there is nothing to block air flow.
— Change your air filter. Your air filter should be changed every 1-3 months, depending on the season, household size, and whether you have pets. A dirty air filter makes the system work harder and it increases your energy costs. If you have a gas furnace, it can also increase your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
— Call your furnace repair technician as soon as you notice something out of the ordinary. If your furnace or air conditioner seems inefficient, doesn’t heat the whole house evenly, or makes strange noises, don’t delay your call. If the problem is ignored, it may get worse — and more expensive.
#2. Annual Furnace Maintenance Is Money Well Spent
HVAC companies aren’t selling you a service you don’t need when they bring up an annual maintenance program. Furnace maintenance is essential for many reasons:
— It can detect problems before they become serious and costly
— It will check the condition of your heat exchanger. A crack in this crucial component can allow carbon monoxide to leak into your home.
— An inspection detects signs of incomplete combustion. This makes your furnace very inefficient, contributes to premature wear, and may be a hazard.
— Annual maintenance involves cleaning, testing, and adjusting all components of your system. This helps your furnace work more efficiently.
— Regular maintenance extends the life of your furnace.
#3. You May Save Money by Upgrading
On average, a furnace can last for around 15 to 20 years. If your furnace hasn’t been well maintained, it may not even last that long. Your furnace technician doesn’t want to sound like a salesperson, but the truth is it’s probably a good idea to consider replacing a furnace that’s more than 10 years old. The older your furnace gets, the more repairs it will need. This isn’t the only way an old furnace can cost you, though.
Your HVAC system accounts for about 50% of your total utility costs. Newer furnaces are far more efficient than models just 10 years old. If you upgrade to an Energy Star furnace, you can save 20% or more on your heating costs. You’ll also enjoy about 15 years of worry-free heating as long as you maintain your new system.
#4. Get Ready for an HVAC Appointment
When you know your furnace repair technician is coming, take steps to get ready. Your technician doesn’t want to worry about being bitten by a dog or a child getting hurt. They also don’t want to move furniture and clutter to get where they need to be. While a professional won’t show they’re bothered, these things can still be irritating. Remember that your HVAC technician is likely very busy with many appointments to make before the end of their shift.
You can help your technician stay on schedule and possibly even reduce your labor costs by preparing for your technician’s arrival. Simply putting away pets and making sure your technician has a clear path to work can make a huge difference.