Spring is here which means it?s time to start spring cleaning and home maintenance. You might think this just means bringing out the duster for the first time in a year or finally going through your closet that is overflowing with stuff. Spring cleaning can be so much more beneficial to both your home and your budget if you pay attention to home and appliance maintenance. With the right to-do list in hand, you can transform your home, cut on your energy and save money!
Don?t know where to start with home and appliance maintenance? Then, let us tell you. We?re going to begin with furnace maintenance. Why start there? It?s one of the home appliances in which you can actually increase its efficiency and lifespan. If you have routine tune-ups of your furnace, the system can become 25% more efficient. Make those routine tune-ups twice a year, and your heating and air conditioning unit can last 30-50% longer than it would without any repair or maintenance.
So, how do you know if you need furnace maintenance, a repair or replaced?
- Increased frequency in repairs needed
How old it is (is it older than 15 years?)
How warm it keeps the house
Irregular cycling on and off
Requiring more energy than it originally did
Produces unusual sounds
No one wants to be with unexpected furnace repair or replacements costs. It can really throw off your budget for the month or even the entire year. Take measures to prevent this early on by knowing the signs that your furnace needs maintenance. On average, you should expect your furnace to work well for 18-25 years if it is conventional or mid-efficiency and 15-20 years if it is a high efficiency furnace. It should be able to keep your home properly heated all winter and maintain an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating of 80% at all times.
Instead of spending money on repairs, want to save money on your energy bill? You can easily do so by paying attention to your furnace?s settings and home maintenance all year long. Follow these simple steps to start saving on money and cutting back on energy:
1. Install insulation
Your attic should always be properly insulated. It will immediately cut back on energy waste. In homes where the attic is not insulated well, the heat leaves through the roof. Statistically speaking, that means 20% of every dollar spent on heating the home is wasted. The heat vanishes along with your money. Don?t let this happen to you. If you haven?t already, start installing insulation in your attic now before the cold seasons arrive.
2. Watch your thermostat
Are you one of those people who leaves your heat or air conditioning on even when you?re not home? It?s one thing to do this for quick trips to the grocery or when you?re out to dinner. If you do it every time you leave for your eight work day, you?re wasting money, energy and your furnace?s efficiency. For every 1 degree you set your thermostat back, you can save 1% on your bill. Think about it. If you set your thermostat back 10 degrees before work, that?s 10% in savings. Make that a regular habit, and you?ll see a difference in your bill each month.
3. Services and maintenance
If you don?t think you can do a tune-up or furnace maintenance on your own, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) experts are the people to call. They?ll work to get your furnace into good condition or help you select the best furnace to purchase. Without them, your furnace would go unserviced until it needed a replacement. Don?t be part of the 75% of people who call up their HVAC experts in the winter because your family is freezing in a home where there was no furnace maintenance. Call them up before this happens. Keep your home appliances serviced and maintained year-round.
Get started on this spring cleaning task as soon as possible. It might not seem like furnace maintenance is the most important task, but you could be saving money and reducing energy each time you tune-up your furnace. Let us know in the comments below what you?re doing to keep up with your furnace maintenance.