Indoor Air Quality – Air Advice
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Few things are more important to your family’s comfort than a properly functioning furnace. That furnace provides heat for a majority of the year and is an integral part of your complete home heating system. However, there are many factors to consider when choosing a new furnace or having your current one serviced.
Small amounts of maintenance can make a big difference for the longevity of your furnace’s performance. Try to keep the area around your furnace clean and dust free. This will lower the chances of dust getting sucked up into the furnace, and reduce the chances of a fire. This will also reduce the amount of furnace filters needed each year. Think about installing a carbon dioxide sensor near your furnace to detect gas leaks.
Furnaces are measured in many ways. The first is by fuel type. If your home is hooked up to a gas line, the best type of furnace would be a gas furnace that provides efficient, inexpensive heat year–round. However, if you don’t have a gas hookup, propane and heat pumps are available options. Electric furnaces are the most expensive to operate for the majority of homeowners due to the cost of electricity, but there are some very efficient electric models on the market for those seeking to reduce their power intake.
In terms of efficiency, furnaces are measured by their AFUE rating. This rating is designed to describe how much fuel the furnace utilizes to produce heat. Modern furnaces all have AFUE ratings of 80% or higher. This means they utilize at least 80% of the fuel they consume to produce heat.
Some gas furnaces are capable of maintaining AFUE ratings of higher than 96%, using almost every drop of fuel they consume to produce heat. However, keep in mind that the higher the AFUE rating, the more expensive the furnace is likely to be.
Once you have a furnace installed in your home, you must maintain it year after year. Proper maintenance of a furnace ensures it will last for at least the manufacturer’s recommended age, and possibly longer. Instead of replacing your furnace every 10 years, it may last as long as 15–20 years. That’s a significant savings because furnace replacement can be quite expensive.
Furnace maintenance is usually done every year and involves checking common components, inspecting for any leaks or clogs in your system, and then reviewing your ductwork to make sure it still properly delivers all of the air being heated by your furnace.
Even with regular maintenance, there’s always a chance your system may need more in–depth repairs. There are a few simple things you can do to pinpoint problems before they become overwhelming for your furnace. First, watch for uneven heating in your home. If you notice heat not reaching the second floor or the temperature wavering throughout the day, your furnace is likely the culprit. You may also notice higher than average heating bills due to high fuel consumption. Loss of efficiency is a sure sign that your furnace needs repair and may even indicate that it’s time for replacement. Only a service technician can help you be sure.
Luckily, with regular maintenance, your furnace isn’t likely to need many emergency repairs. But regardless of what type of furnace service you need, Ace Air, Inc. is here to help. We install, maintain and repair furnaces in homes all over the San Joaquin Valley area and can provide the best possible service to you and your family.