Have you noticed a decline in your furnace’ efficiency? Probably it’s not evenly heating your home, or your energy bills have been creeping up. Many factors can affect its efficiency, even if your furnace is relatively new.

First, understand how your furnace works. A furnace heats air and then pushes it through the ductwork in your home through a blower. The warmed air rises through the ducts to the second floor, circling back down to the first floor and repeating the process. A furnace loses its efficiency for several reasons. They include:

Lack of Annual Tune-Ups

Furnace tune-ups entail cleaning, repairing and optimizing the unit to peak performance—Schedule Heating Services with WireNut, where your furnace is serviced at least once a year. They will check for any potential problems and make the necessary repairs. They’ll also inspect the exercises’ belts, bearings, and motor, replace the filters and clean the blower assembly.

All these tasks are crucial in maintaining your furnace’s efficiency. Ignoring furnace tune-ups leads to issues such as noisy operation, reduced airflow, and uneven heating. You also risk losing the warranty, as most manufacturers require proof of annual maintenance.

Dirty Air Filters

Your furnace has air filters that clean the air before it enters the blower. The clean air is then pushed through the ductwork in your home. Dirty air filters restrict airflow and make the furnace work harder, using more energy. The furnace will eventually overheat, shutting down until it cools off. Check the air filters monthly and clean or replace them when necessary.

The disposable filters are 1″ to 5″ thick and come in varying MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) ratings. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter traps particles. Depending on the furnace type, you can use a pleated, panel or electronic air filter.

Sealed Ductwork

Ductwork that isn’t adequately sealed leads to heated or cooled air escaping before it reaches its destination. The escaping air causes your furnace to work harder and use more energy, lowering its efficiency. Check for air leaks by feeling the ductwork for cool or warm spots. Also, listen for any hissing sounds coming from the ducts.

Thermostat Issues

Your furnace won’t operate efficiently if the thermostat isn’t working correctly. Check the batteries and replace them if they are weak. Also, ensure the thermostat is set to “heat” and the temperature is turned up. If the furnace still isn’t on, it could be a wiring problem that requires a professional’s services.

Other factors, such as poor insulation, open windows, and leaks, can make your home feel cooler than the thermostat setting. As a result, the furnace will run longer, trying to reach the desired temperature, and use more energy in the process.

Age of the Furnace

Like any other appliance, a furnace has a lifespan. The average lifespan of a gas furnace is 15 to 20 years, while an oil one is 20 to 25 years. The efficiency of a new furnace is higher than that of an old one. That’s because technology has improved over the years, leading to the development of more energy-efficient furnaces.

If your furnace is over 12 years old, it’s time to start shopping for a replacement. Consider units with a higher AFUE rating. The minimum energy efficiency standards for furnaces changed in 2015, with the current minimum being 80%. If you live in a cold climate, opt for a unit with an AFUE of 90% or higher.

The Effort Extends a Unit’s Lifespan

A lot affects your furnace’s efficiency. Proper care starts with understanding how it works. By carrying out the appropriate maintenance tasks and using the unit as intended, you’ll save a lot of money on energy bills and extend its lifespan. Let professionals handle all issues, which assures you of a well-functioning furnace for years to come.

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