As spring arrives, people are more and more happy to see lowered heating bills when outdoor temperatures begin to rise. The farthest thing from your mind as you turn your thermostat from "heat" to "off" might be heating and furnace maintenance. However, spring maintenance can keep your heating system in good shape and reduce the chances you'll need repairs once the weather turns cold again. Whether you use a furnace, heat pump, or another system, you can always benefit from investing in maintenance.
Why worry about maintenance in the spring?
After a season of use, some components of your heating system can be worn out. You also might have your heating system connected with your air conditioning, using the same air filters and ducts. Maintenance on one prepares you to use the other. Finally, some heating system problems that are costly start out very small, and seasonal inspections can help catch these problems before they get out of hand.
Proactive maintenance is always less expensive than simply paying for repairs or replacement when problems come.
Also, because many people do not worry about getting professional maintenance when the cold season is ending, they might not notice a problem until fall. This is when heating technicians are busiest, and prices can be more expensive. Scheduling any needed repairs for spring saves you from a nasty (and cold) surprise when you actually need your furnace to be working, giving you time to get the work done without having to panic.
What tasks should be on your spring cleaning heating maintenance list?
If you're wondering what maintenance your heating system needs, here are some things to put on the list:
- Basic cleanup. Vacuum out vents and air ducts. You may not need a full duct cleaning, but you can remove some debris yourself with your household vacuum. Things like old cereal, kids' toys, lint, and dirt collect in vents and reduce heating efficiency.
- Filter changes. Your furnace has been working hard for months. Change the filter now so it's ready and waiting when you have to turn the heat on again next season.
- Heat pump tuneups. If you heat your home with a pump, maintenance is even more essential because the heat pump functions to help cool your home as well — the system works all year long, and you need to have an efficient system.
If you have an older furnace, you should also schedule a thorough cleaning. Older furnaces still function fine to heat your home, but these older appliances are not as efficient and have more working or moving parts that get dirty or lose lubrication as they work. These actually do need to be cleaned and serviced by a furnace technician. Even a furnace that is ten years old will not be as clean as a newer model, which work in closed systems with components that are monitored by a circuit board like a small computer. Generally, older furnaces will become less and less efficient over seasons of neglect, resulting in higher and higher bills and the eventually failure of the furnace. You can make an older furnace last a long time by getting it cleaned after each winter season is over.
While you are at it, you can also prep your air conditioning for use. Clear debris from around the outdoor compressor, and make sure all the hoses and connections are in good shape.
Spring cleaning is important for all parts of your home, but don't forget your heating system as you're getting things done around the house. For more information, contact a local heating company, like Elite Heating AC & Refrigeration, Inc.