Furnace maintenance may not be the first thing on your mind when the weather starts getting warmer, but it should be a part of your spring to-do list. Taking care of your furnace each spring helps ensure that it will work like it should when fall and winter come back around. While modern furnaces are quite reliable, a little TLC helps keep them running their best. Here are a few basic spring furnace maintenance tasks you should tackle before shutting the system down for the season.
Clean Your Air Ducts
Dirty air ducts decrease furnace efficiency and can drive up your heating bill while reducing the system’s lifespan. They can also cause respiratory problems, especially people with asthma and allergies. Spring is the perfect time to have your home’s air ducts cleaned since this task will also ensure that your ducts will be in good condition when you start up your air conditioner.
Inspect Your Furnace’s Belts
Your furnace has belts that are responsible for running the blower. They play an important role in the overall functionality of your heating system, so it’s a good idea to check to see that they are tight and aligned properly. Look for wear, and replace any that appear to be thinning or cracked. You should also replace any belts that no longer fit tightly. Remove debris and dust from around the belts as well as the fan blades.
Check Your Thermostat’s Batteries
If you have an electric thermostat, spring is a good time to make sure the battery is still in good condition. If the battery is dying, it could cause temperature fluctuations. In addition to having a negative impact on your comfort, these fluctuations can decrease your system’s efficiency and drive up your bill.
Get a Furnace Tune-Up
If it’s been a while since you’ve had your furnace professionally inspected, schedule a tune-up. At Larry & Sons, we offer professional furnace tune-ups in Hagerstown and the surrounding areas, and we can help you make sure your furnace will be in good working order for next year. Contact us today to learn more.
What’s that nasty smell? If it reminds you of rotten eggs, it could be a gas leak originating from your furnace. While natural gas is odorless on its own, manufacturers are required by law to add a chemical known as mercaptan. This is what gives gas that unmistakable smell.
If you detect the odor of natural gas in your home, get out and call for help immediately. Gas leaks are extremely dangerous and could result in catastrophes like gas furnace explosions. The smell of gas isn’t always the only sign of a gas leak, though. If you notice any of these signs of gas leak, call for help right away.
Signs of a Gas Leak
Rotten Egg or Sulfur Smell
The chemical that is added to natural gas smells like sulfur or rotten egg. If you notice this uniquely unpleasant aroma, do not ignore it. Even if it isn’t being caused by a gas leak, you could still have a serious problem. Certain electrical issues cause this smell as well.
When a leak occurs behind a wall or in a pipe, you may hear it without being able to smell it. When it escapes from the gas line, natural gas makes a distinctive hissing sound. If you hear it, turn off your gas supply, if possible, and call for help.
Dead Patches in your Lawn
Gas lines run underground before entering your home and connecting to your furnace. If there is a spot on your lawn that is dying, you could have an underground gas leak. In addition, if a gas line runs underneath a pond or even a large puddle on your property, persistent bubbling could indicate a leak.
What to Do When You Have a Gas Leak
If you smell or hear a gas leak or if you have another reason to suspect you may have one, vacate the premises immediately. Don’t use anything that could cause a spark – including your cell phone. Wait until you are far away before calling anyone for assistance. If possible, turn off the main gas supply to your home. You may want to contact the fire department or your gas company for fast help in emergency situations. Contact a licensed service company that can respond quickly and repair the damage before disaster strikes.
Whether your old furnace broke down for the last time or you’re sick of high heating bills and you’re thinking about upgrading to a more energy-efficient model, buying a new furnace is a big investment. During the winter months, you need to have a furnace you can depend on for safe, even heating throughout your home, and with a bit of research, you can make an informed decision that you’ll be happy with for years to come.
When you’re in the market for a new furnace, there are several things to consider, including type, size and efficiency. Knowing which options are best suited to your needs ensures that you’ll ultimately invest in the right furnace. When you’re shopping for a few heating system, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Things to Consider When Buying a Furnace
In most cases, it’s easiest to purchase a furnace that uses the same fuel as your existing furnace. Installation costs more when switching to a different type of furnace, but there are some instances in which the extra investment is worthwhile. If you aren’t sure what type of furnace you’d like to get, talk to an expert.
Sizing is one of the most important aspects of your new furnace. A furnace that is too small may cost less up front, but it will have to work harder to heat your home, and you’ll end up spending a lot more on your monthly bills. An overworked system also won’t last as long as one that’s properly sized for your home. Save yourself a lot of headaches and future expense by purchasing a furnace that’s the correct size for your home.
Rebates and Incentives
A furnace is a major investment, so it’s always advisable to do your homework and get the best deal. Manufacturers frequently offer cash rebates that will put a portion of the purchase price back in your pocket. If you’re upgrading to an energy-efficient furnace, you may also qualify for valuable tax rebates and other incentives.
Furnace Installation in Hagerstown
When you need furnace installation in Hagerstown and the surrounding areas, depend on the heating experts right here at Larry & Sons. We offer some of the best furnaces on the market, and we’re always here to help you choose the one that best suits your home’s needs as well as your budget. To find out more about our heating system installation services, give us a call now at 301-733-5428.
Energy costs are spiraling out of control, and this trend is expected to continue throughout the next several years. If you’re like most homeowners, you’re probably looking for ways to reduce your utility bills despite the rising cost.
While it may seem counterintuitive because of the initial upfront investment, replacing your old energy hog of a furnace may be the perfect way to reduce your expenses.
How You Can Save Money by Replacing Your Furnace
Just in the past decade, the efficiency of residential heating systems has increased dramatically. Ten short years ago, the average furnace operated at 78% efficiency. (If you have an older heater, it may be operating at 60% efficiency or even less!) Today’s energy efficient heating systems, however, offer 98% efficiency.
What does that mean for you?
Efficiency is based on how well the system uses energy. If your system is 60% efficient, then only 60% of the energy you’re using is used to produce heat and 40% is wasted. With a modern system that’s 98% efficient, only 2% is wasted. Upgrading to a new furnace means you’ll see a drastic reduction in fuel cost as you’ll no longer be wasting nearly as much.
Other Ways a New Furnace Saves You Money
Just based on improved energy efficiency alone, upgrading to a newer furnace will save you big in the long run, but that’s not the only benefit. Over time, your old heater is likely to need more and more repairs. Replacing your furnace now means you’ll likely avoid the expense of those repairs, and those savings adds up quickly!
Upgrading to a new furnace may also qualify you for valuable tax incentives and rebates. You could save up to $500 on your taxes just by getting a new furnace!
If you’re thinking about upgrading your furnace, contact Larry & Sons today!