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Saturday, October 4, 2014
Furnace Efficiency, Safety & Maintenence for Fall
in homes throughout North America are cranking up for a long winter
season. It is especially important to have furnaces inspected and
maintained to ensure that they run efficiently and safely as we head
into the colder months.
SIMPLE WAYS TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY
some accounts, home heating, especially gas furnaces, can represent half
of a typical home’s winter utilities bill. Efficient operation can mean
lower energy bills and a more comfortable home. For example,
programmable thermostats can be used to automatically turn heat up or
down at specified times, so that the temperature is lowered overnight or
while no one is at home. The newest types of thermostats can be
operated via smartphone or tablet using apps specific to these
should be calibrated occasionally to avoid “off-cycle” heat loss; a
properly-calibrated thermostat will result in more even heating between
the on/off cycles, which is both more efficient and comfortable.
SAFETY AND MAINTENANCE
is also an important factor in furnace operation. Gas furnaces can be a
source of dangerous carbon monoxide if there are leaks or cracks that
go unnoticed or unrepaired. The furnace flame should be steady and burn
blue; if not, this should be addressed immediately. A qualified
contractor or inspector can detect these types of problems and recommend
furnace maintenance includes checking and replacing disposable air
filters and cleaning permanent-type filters, as well as keeping dust,
hair, and lint away from the burner compartment and air intake. No
matter what type it is, a well-maintained furnace will not only last
longer, but can save energy, money, and help a home’s overall air
quality and comfort.
CONSIDERING A NEW FURNACE?
new furnace is necessary, it is a good opportunity to evaluate the
various types of furnaces now available and how well they might meet a
home’s specific situation. Furnaces are defined as conventional
efficiency, mid efficiency, and high efficiency. There are advantages
and drawbacks to each type, and some are better suited to older homes,
for example, and cost may be a factor in considering various types of
systems. However, the ability of most new furnaces to reduce off-cycle
heat loss, eliminate the need for an always-on pilot light, etc. make
replacing a furnace worth considering if a current system is in bad
repair functioning poorly. Your local Pillar To Post office can provide
you with additional information on various types of furnaces.
Jared Fenn, Pillar to Post Home Inspections (801) 318-9909