How a Bit of Pre-season Gas Furnace Maintenance Goes a Long Way
What’s on your spring cleaning checklist? You’re probably no stranger to tasks like airing out closets, dusting and vacuuming, but you may be unaware that you should also prepare your gas furnace for the warmer months ahead. Here are a few steps that can help you save money in furnace maintenance and heating costs over the long run.
What’s My Furnace Doing All Summer?
Even though you’re not actively using your furnace for heating because it’s already hot outside, it may still be expending energy. A traditional furnace’s pilot light continues burning fuel regardless of whether the appliance is running so that when you do finally switch the furnace on, it can ignite the burners instantly.
Compared to the furnace’s burners, the pilot light doesn’t consume fuel at a high rate, but it still adds up over time. Depending on the condition of your furnace or boiler, you may be spending a lot of extra money keeping the pilot flame alive all summer long.
For safety reasons, most pilots incorporate electronic detection systems and valves that switch off the fuel supply if the flame gets extinguished. Even if yours includes high-efficiency mechanisms, it will still consume electricity during the summer. Shutting down the furnace completely when you don’t need it is a smart idea.
What If I Have a More Modern Furnace?
Many contemporary boiler designs have given up pilot lights in favor of electronic ignition switches. Their lack of continual flame doesn’t mean that they don’t require seasonal preparation, however.
All furnaces benefit from being cleaned annually, and spring or early summer are great times to start. Removing soot and other waste from gas furnace heating elements can prevent lasting material damage. Replacing your furnace air filters improves the quality of the air you breathe and ensures that your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard to pump through the accumulated debris of a long winter. Cleaning improves gas furnace efficiency so that you stay warmer for less money.
Re-Stock Your Fuel Supply
Now is also a good time to refill your fuel tank. Although gasoline prices rise during summer, propane and LPG costs usually do the opposite. You might save quite a bit of money by refilling before heating fuel is back in high demand.
Finally, don’t forget to have your furnace thoroughly inspected and serviced. Hiring a professional to run your heating appliance through its paces and perform the recommended upkeep is a wise move because you’re likely to pay more competitive rates when fewer consumers are seeking help. This is especially true if it turns out that you need a major furnace repair. Finding out about problems now leaves you with more options down the line so that you won’t have to make a snap decision when things get chilly.
Want to learn more about pre-summer furnace repair and preparation? Check out AirNow online.