Let’s face it – it’s easy to neglect your furnace. It’s understandable, as they are built to last a good 15 to 20 years, but what people forget is that furnaces can last even longer if you simply take care of them. It can also be quite a bit shorter than that and WORSE, however, if you let it.
The good news is that a little preventative maintenance every year is all that it takes to get the most out of your investment, but if that doesn’t convince you, then let’s take a look at 5 consequences of a poorly maintained furnace.
Maintaining your furnace is vital and we’ll show you exactly why this is the case! If you’re unsure what’s happening, scheduling a furnace repair might be the best choice.
You can’t count on being comfortable
You only turn on your furnace when it gets cold, of course, but since you can’t shrink yourself and tour the pipes and intricate little air passages that make heating your home possible, you can’t see what’s really happening inside.
For one thing, it gets dusty in there, so it’s helpful to think of your heating system as your house’s circulatory system. When a buildup of dust, dead insects, and debris occurs, the heat won’t circulate as efficiently, and you end up with rooms that you avoid because… well because they’re cold!
Part of preventative maintenance for a gas furnace includes cleaning your air filter and replacing it if that’s what’s needed, and if you do this every year then naturally, you’ll get fewer contaminants blocking-up in your house’s ‘heat circulatory system’ and you can start to use those ‘cold’ rooms that you love again.
It’s as simple as that!
Your furnace could break down when you need it the most
Aside from dust and debris, you get a lot of humidity going on in the innards of your house, and this will impact your furnace’s performance as well. There are metal parts in there, after all, and dampness and debris are eventually going to take their toll.
With preventative maintenance, you’ll have a technician who is lubricating the moving parts in order to protect and maintain them. The light coat of the right oils helps to keep rust at bay and also helps for a quieter performance.
Those moving parts will quietly do their job and they’ll do it longer because less friction means less wear and tear and an extended ‘bill of health’ toward the life of your furnace.
Higher energy bills are guaranteed
When your furnace isn’t heating efficiently, such as when one or more rooms are colder than the rest, then it’s only natural to walk over and crank up the thermostat. This works, because your furnace is a fine machine and it’s powerful enough to push out more heat, but then what?
Now, you’ll have rooms that are a little too warm, while those cold rooms are simply a little more bearable, and then you get to the real ‘kicker’ of this whole scenario – an enormous electric bill that could have easily been avoided.
Winter lasts for a long time – it’s famous for that and we all have our stories about the worst one that we can remember. By scheduling a preventative maintenance session every year, you’re going to know that air circulation and the inner workings of your furnace are performing at their very best level.
When winter comes along, your furnace will be able to perform exactly what it was designed for – a thermostat-dictated level of comfort and warmth that’s reliably set to your expectations for every single room.
You could void your 15-20 year warranty
Another reason that people neglect their furnaces until it’s too late is that they are built so darned efficiently. Simply put, they’ll take a beating and it’s pretty hard to hurt them. The problem is that the warranty that helps to protect your furnace for the next 15-20 years has a little ‘fine print’ attached.
You’ve got to take care of it.
If you never changed the oil, brake fluid, or transmission fluids in your car, you’d have the same scenario. These are finely-tuned machines and while they are designed to last many years, they can’t do it without at least a minimum level of preventative maintenance.
Think of preventative maintenance for your furnace as being like an oil change for your car, except with the added bonus that it’s only needed in the spring and fall. For 15-20 years of hard work that it’s going to give you to keep you warm, that’s an amazing return on your investment when you really think about it.
Increased Carbon monoxide levels are a health risk
The final risk that you need to know about with a furnace or indeed any heating system is carbon monoxide. This gas has no smell, but there are telltale signs such as soot or a yellow flame that you might forget to look for, but a professional HVAC tech will definitely check.
For instance, most gas appliances have a baseline of less than 50ppm CO, while natural draft appliances might have as much as 200ppm. Most of us don’t know that, so having a pro that can check your CO levels is an absolute must.
Carbon monoxide in an enormous health risk, but it doesn’t have to be if you simply get it checked as part of your biannual preventative maintenance schedule.
A little preventative maintenance goes a long, long way
So, there you have it! Today we’ve shared 5 consequences of a poorly maintained furnace and they are definitely nothing to sneeze at.
A poorly maintained furnace affects your comfort levels, decreases the reliability of the furnace, and can raise your electric bill through the roof. Furthermore, you could void your warranty, and even put your health at risk if carbon monoxide levels aren’t carefully watched.
It’s easy to avoid – just have a pro look at your furnace every spring and fall. It just makes good, solid, and practical sense.