Although you may have already scheduled furnace maintenance to prepare for winter, how you use the system after maintenance has been performed also matters. From the thermostat to the air filter, common habits could affect heating system performance, reliability and impact your wallet. To help prevent equipment malfunctions and energy waste, refrain from making the following common mistakes.
What Shouldn’t You Do With the Heating System This Winter?
1. Turning Up the Heat
In an effort to heat up rooms faster, you might be tempted to raise the temperature on the thermostat. However, doing so doesn’t expedite the process. Instead, the furnace just works overtime to generate the same heat levels as it otherwise would have. To prevent unnecessary strain on the system, just keep the thermostat set at your normal temperature preference and let the furnace do its job.
2. Forgetting to Change the Filter
The filter traps airborne contaminants that enter the furnace. Over time, the filter media becomes covered in dirt, dust, pet hair, and other particles. When this happens, the filter begins to restrict air flow within the furnace. Insufficient air flow can cause the furnace’s safety systems to shut down the system due to improper temperatures and air pressure.
When the air filter becomes extremely dirty, the blower system can be damaged as it valiantly tries to provide the air flow the furnace requires. Additionally, the filter can be partially sucked into the blower compartment allowing unfiltered air to begin depositing airborne contaminants on the blower, heat exchanger and the duct system.
To maintain indoor air quality and prevent equipment from getting dirty and overheating, check the filter each month and change it according to manufacturer specifications or sooner if necessary. A clean furnace filter is the best insurance you have against avoidable repairs.
3. Closing Vents
It is enticing to close heating vents in unoccupied rooms to prevent heat waste, thereby saving money. Although the intentions are good, the practice is actually damaging to the furnace. When your furnace was installed, the duct system was designed to permit the proper air flow through the furnace. If the ductwork was undersized, the furnace would experience premature failures such as blower failures and cracked heat exchangers.
Your furnace’s heating capacity was also sized to supply heat to your entire home. Closing vents reduces the square footage that receives heat, which means the furnace is effectively oversized once you start closing vents. To compensate for the imbalance, the system short-cycles, uses more energy and works harder to push the same amount of air through fewer ducts. So, it is important to keep all vents open to prevent damage to your furnace and not cause inefficiencies that result in higher heating bills.
For heating repair and upkeep to boost furnace efficiency this winter, contact Jon’s Plumbing & Heating in Mount Vernon, OH. Since 1998, our Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Contractors™ have been trustworthy sources for effective heating and cooling solutions in and around Knox County. Learn more online about how our crew will help keep your home warm and energy costs low, see project photos on Facebook, and call (740) 392-5667 for an appointment.