Many Texas homeowners don't think much about their home's heating system until something goes awry. With the unpredictability of Texas winter weather, the last thing you want is for your furnace to go out in the middle of February. That's why regular furnace maintenance is important, especially before the cold weather sets in. Before you call your local heating and cooling company for HVAC service, there are few things you can check on your own to ensure your furnace is prepared for winter.
Clean the combustion chamber
Your furnace's combustion chamber is a vital component of your home's HVAC system. Within the combustion chamber, natural gas is burned to make the heat that funnels to the heat exchanger. To clean this furnace component, you'll first want to turn off the electrical power to your furnace. Use a bristled brush to sweep out any soot or debris that has accumulated. You can also wipe off the burners with a cloth.
Check the air filter
Air filters help keep the indoor air quality of your home in top condition, preventing things like allergens and airborne illnesses from cycling throughout your home. Over time, your HVAC system air filters start to collect dust and dirt, diminishing in efficiency. When this happens, your furnace must work extra hard to operate, which can lead to an increase in your electricity bills. The good news? Air filters are relatively inexpensive and easy to change. All you have to do is visit your furnace operating manual to find the furnace filter type and size you need.
Inspect the blower motor
Another furnace maintenance tip is to inspect your HVAC system's blower motor. The blower motor is an important part of your heating system because it holds the job of circulating air to the various rooms in your house. Regular maintenance is vital because it helps to maintain a comfortable temperature and humidity throughout your home. Look for things like cracks in the fan blades or the accumulation of dust and debris. According to Rasmussen Mechanical Services, dirty fan blades can lead to premature motor failure and a 20% increase in motor operating costs. If you don't feel totally comfortable inspecting and maintaining this component, reach out to your local HVAC company to assist.
Check the heat exchanger
Your HVAC system likely contains what is known as a heat exchanger. An article from the Refrigeration School defines a heat exchanger as a device that transfers thermal energy from one medium to another. If you have a gas furnace, the heat exchanger is used to raise the temperature of the air before dispensing it throughout your home via ducts and vents. When inspecting this HVAC system component, make note if there is a buildup in dust or there are cracks in your furnace's heat exchanger. A cracked heat exchanger is a serious threat to your home because it can leak toxic chemicals through the air vents.
A clean heat exchanger can help you save a good amount of money on your home energy bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. If you don't feel equipped to tackle this furnace maintenance tip, contact your local HVAC company. Many heating and cooling companies offer regular furnace maintenance agreements that include furnace cleaning and part replacements.
Change thermostat batteries
Just like the other electronics in your home, your thermostat likely operates on batteries. It's recommended that Texas homeowners change their thermostat batteries at the beginning of each heating season to ensure your heating system will operate efficiently during the cold winter months.
There are a variety of affordable smart thermostats on the market that allow you to personalize your heating routine (visit our blog The Best Smart Thermostats for your Home in 2022 to read about some of our favorites!). For example, if you like to wake up to a cozy warm house you can set your smart thermostat to turn on 30 minutes before your alarm goes off. Or, if you're going on vacation, you can set your thermostat to a lower temperature during your absence. When you arrive back in town from your trip, simply turn the thermostat temperature up from your smartphone or smart device for a comfortable return.
We hope that these furnace maintenance tips are helpful as you prepare your home for Texas winter weather. By utilizing these tips, you can stay warm and comfortable all winter long while also saving money on your electricity bill. If you're looking for a renewable energy company that offers transparent plans and pricing, sign up with Rhythm today!