It is all too easy to take your home’s heating system for granted. When winter rolls in, the temperature drops and many residents turn on their heaters without a second thought. But have you ever turned on your heater and nothing happened? Do you know how to take care of your furnace so that you can rely on it year after year?
If you were ever curious about how your heater works or what you need to do to keep your furnace running smoothly, then this guide is for you. The professionals at Ball Heating & Air Conditioning are here to help you better understand the basics of gas heater maintenance.
The Basics of a Forced-Air Heater
The heating cycle of your gas furnace works by:
- The burner, fueled by propane or natural gas, is ignited by a spark. Older heaters may utilize a standing pilot light instead.
- The resulting flames warm up the heat exchanger. Any exhaust produced by this ignition process escapes through the flue.
- Incoming air is forced over the heat exchanger, warming it.
- The furnace’s blower motor turns on to move the heated air into the duct system and throughout the home.
- As the space heats up, colder air sinks down and is drawn through return ducts and back into the furnace.
- The process is repeated until the thermostat senses that the space has reached the set temperature.
What Makes Your Heater Last
Preventative maintenance is the answer to a longer-lasting furnace. On average, a heater will not last its full 15-20 year life span without undergoing part replacement and repairs. Normal wear is to be expected of any home appliance and your furnace is no exception. These occasional repairs are usually more cost-effective than replacing the whole furnace. If your furnace is beyond repair and it’s time for a new one, contact us to schedule your furnace replacement. We service residents of Biloxi, Gulfport and surrounding areas.
Heater Habits to Avoid
To save yourself from costly repairs, be aware of habits that can put your furnace on the fast track to breaking down.
- Not replacing filters regularly. Dirty filters not only worsen your indoor air quality they also force your heater to work harder. Distributing warm air through clogged and dirty filters uses more energy and can make your furnace wear out faster.
- Using the wrong type of filter. Not all filters are created for all heaters and not all heaters are built to use HEPA filters. Ensure you are using the right filters for your unit so your furnace runs at its best.
- Air leaks in the ductwork. Warm air can escape through tears and leaks in the ductwork. This means that your crawl spaces are getting heated instead of the rooms in your home, and your furnace is working overtime to heat the space. Save yourself from higher energy bills and a worn-out furnace by repairing any damage to your ductwork.
- Inconsistent heating habits–forcing the unit to turn on and off randomly throughout the day. Putting undue pressure on your heater to warm up your house on a whim makes your furnace work harder than it needs to. Consider installing a programmable or smart thermostat to help regulate your heating habits.
- Dirty or damaged parts. Listen to your furnace when it’s running and be aware of unusual noises. This is often a sign of damaged parts. Allowing your furnace to run season after season without being cleaned or maintained is almost a guarantee that the unit will break down faster.
Maintain Your Unit
Before you can maintain your heater, you have to acquire the proper unit in the first place. Ensuring that your furnace installation is performed by a professional is the first step. Scheduling regular maintenance and repairs is also important for keeping your furnace running smoothly. You can perform routine cleaning, filter changes and check for damaged parts on your own.
When it’s time for more major repairs or a new heater, be sure to contact a trusted source. Reach out to Ball Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule your furnace maintenance or heater installation today.