Furnace Care and Purchasing - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Furnace Care and Purchasing

It is important to inspect your furnace’s combustion area and vent system before each heating season. If you find dirt, soot or rust, your system may not operate properly or at its peak efficiency. Call your servicing dealer and do not operate your furnace until it is professionally inspected. 

Have your heating and air conditioning system inspected and cleaned at least once a year to be sure your system is running safely and gives you the best performance at the lowest cost. You may also want to ask about an economical service contract that covers seasonal inspections for a flat fee. (equipment tune up) These preventive maintenance inspections not only maximize efficiency, comfort and helps extend the life of the equipment, but more importantly health and safety.

Keep your outdoor unit clear of debris, leaves, and shrubbery for free flow of air through the unit. Replacement of your old, inefficient gas furnace is another way to reduce your heating cost.

Furnace Models

There is no one best furnace model for all homes, because each house and each family’s lifestyle is different. Choosing the correct unit for your can cut your heating bills up to 40%, (depending on the age of your equipment) and dramatically improve, your comfort. The savings can pay back the cost of the upgrade several times over its life.

Furnaces offer a range of capacities and efficiencies. There are additional features and benefits available. The most important step to select a furnace is to ensure that the unit’s specifications fit your need. Also, that it is bought from a contractor who installs it properly, and that it’s adequately maintained. A furnace's life expectancy is 18 to 20 years.

The most common reason for service calls for furnaces is human error. Inadequate maintenance, for example, or improper installation, inadequate duct - work, and inferior equipment.

Furnace Size

How large a furnace should you buy? When it comes to furnaces, size counts - a furnace that is too small won't keep the house comfortable during extreme cold. Partly to avoid that possibility, some contractors sometimes sell furnaces that are too large for the home they're installed in.

Cost is only one problem with such a unit. Compared with a correctly sized furnace, a furnace that is too large will cycle on and off more frequently. That puts more wear on its components, wastes energy, and cause the temperature to vary uncomfortably. You may need to consider your home’s vents and chimney when you are purchasing a new furnace.

Replacing a low efficiency furnace with one that has an AFUE of 90% or more will require installing a vent that meets the special needs of a high efficiency furnace. Furthermore, if other appliances( gas fired water heaters) share a vent or chimney with the old furnace, they, too, may need new or modified venting.

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