Fairfield’s Early Spring Brings Tulips, Crocuses, and End-of-Season Furnace Maintenance Calls
All Fairfield residents can agree that it’s a great town if you like the outdoors. Hiking and biking enthusiasts flock to the trails during the warm months, while families flock to the numerous parks in the city. It’s no surprise that people move here just for the weather. Spring comes early in Fairfield and, for most, that means getting outside for some outdoor fun.
An early spring also means that it’s already time to do all of that spring cleaning maintenance around your home. Hopefully, all the holiday decorations have been stored by now, but it’s also time to de-winterize.
End-of-winter furnace maintenance is one of those tasks that we often neglect, but will be thanking ourselves for come next winter. And, with spring already creeping in around Fairfield, it’s a great time to perform a thorough end-of-season maintenance check on your furnace.
Five End-of-Winter Furnace Tips for Your Fairfield Home
How efficiently your furnace will be working next winter is probably the furthest thing from your mind with spring at the door, especially if it hasn’t given you any trouble this winter. But with the early springs that bloom here in Fairfield, it’s about time to start thinking about maintenance.
Regular furnace maintenance can improve the efficiency of your furnace and extend its lifespan. On average, homeowners can spend $8,000 on furnace replacement. But, with regular maintenance, you can potentially extend the life of your unit for a decade, saving thousands. Here are some things you should do this winter to make sure your furnace is in tip-top shape not only for the next one, but for many winters to come:
- Check the filter: It’s always a good idea to change out filters regularly, but especially in a town like Fairfield where spring pollen begins to show up early. Dust attracts dust, so, if you leave a dirty filter in your furnace, when it comes time to turn it back on next winter you may have problems like air flow blockage, dirty ductwork, or clogged furnace components.
- Vacuum inside your furnace: After your furnace is off for the season, it’s a good time to open it up and check out the inside. If it’s dirty, consider having it cleaned by an HVAC professional. Vacuuming out the inside of your furnace can prevent dust and dirt from collecting on components and damaging them. This is really important for Fairfield residents were more outside allergens tend to settle inside our homes the warmer it gets in the season.
- Inspect the belts: While you have your furnace open and are cleaning it out, it’s also a good time to check out the fan belt. Make sure the fan is properly aligned and there are no weird noises when it’s on. Also check for cracks or tears in the belt, and for if it’s loose. This is a great time for you to replace a broken belt and adjust it properly.
- Test your thermostat: A great spring maintenance checklist will include changing out the batteries of your thermostat. Place a mercury thermometer by your thermostat and wait 15 minutes to get the most accurate reading. If it’s off by more than a degree or two, you likely need to change the batteries. Faulty or old ones can cause inconsistent heating and temperature fluctuations that will make your furnace either work too hard or not hard enough to heat your home.
- Check the ductwork: Your ductwork can collect a lot of dust and pollen that has been circulating in your closed home all winter. It’s a good time to check your ductwork for any damage, but also an opportunity to have them cleaned. Especially with allergy season in full swing here in Fairfield—and spring pollen on the horizon.
Spring a Call on Your HVAC Guy for Annual Furnace Maintenance
While doing some of your own furnace maintenance is great, the only way to assure that your furnace is ready for next season is to schedule your yearly furnace check-up. The end of winter is a great time for this because it’s been in heavy use for the past few months and if there are any issues, your HVAC technician will be able to find them then.
Furnace maintenance is like dental care. You brush and floss every day, hopefully, but a couple times a year you need to see a professional for a check-up to make sure your teeth and mouth are healthy. Furnace maintenance is recommended annually and is an important part of keeping your furnace healthy. If you haven’t had one in a while, it’s probably a good time to schedule it.
A professional HVAC technician can not only check the components of your furnace for damage, they can also perform a thorough inspection and diagnostic tests for efficiency. Your technician will likely:
- Clean the entire heating system: All the cleaning you would spend hours struggling through yourself can be done by your local HVAC professional for a nominal fee. Having your furnace cleaned out can prevent airflow blockages and buildup on internal components, extending the life of your furnace for 5 to 10 years longer than average.
- Check thermostat settings: Changing the batteries will keep your thermostat operating, but an HVAC professional can help you adjust the settings for your thermostat so you have optimal comfort levels year round—and save money during the times you need less heating and cooling.
- Test voltage and electrical connections: It’s important that your furnace is operating at a specific voltage range and that all electrical components are clean and undamaged for the health and safety of your furnace. A professional can identify wires that may have been frayed or shorted and replace those before components are negatively affected.
- Lubricate moving parts: The fan, for instance, has rotating components that need to be lubricated on occasion to prevent wear and tear. Lubricating parts not only helps your furnace to operate properly, but also extends the lifespan of your furnace by reducing the friction on metal parts that can ultimately lead to deterioration.
- Check startup and shutdown controls: An HVAC professional can also use diagnostic tools to check the controls of your furnace. They can evaluate the startup call and shutdown command to your furnace’s internal control system that acts as the brain of your unit. They can also measure the correct airflow and refrigerant charge for your unit. This is definitely something that has to be handled by a professional and this service alone is worth an annual maintenance check.
- Check Condensate Drain: The condensate drain of a unit is often overlooked but can really cause some issues if it is neglected for too long. Condensate drains can become clogged with dirt and buildup, especially in areas with hard water. A clogged condensate drain can mean an unexpected leak or even flooding if it isn’t taken care of. A certified HVAC technician can check and flush your condensate drain so it’s free and clean.
With the record rainfall not seen since 2011 in Fairfield and other parts of California this past winter, it’s safe to say that your furnace was on the job most of these cold, wet days. But now you can finally start to dial your thermostat over to cool with the days starting to get longer and warmer. Those first spring days are always my favorite, where the furnace is finally off for the season, but it’s not quite warm enough to crank up the AC yet. So while the winter is still lingering on our minds, it’s a really good time to do a check-up on your old furnace.
Whether you do some simple inspections yourself or call in a professional, it’s important to the health of your furnace to check it out before the end of the season. The more use a unit sees, the more attention it usually needs, so chances are yours at least needs a good cleaning. It may only need a new filter and belt to make you feel confident going into the summer, but if you want to ensure that your furnace will heat up with no problems next winter, contact a local HVAC professional to ask about your yearly maintenance check-up. It’ll be a lot cheaper than replacing your unit every ten or so years, and it’ll also save you a lot of grief when those cold temperatures roll back into town at the end of our long Fairfield summer.
Don’t wait until your furnace breaks down. Call the experts at Bell Brothers for a quote on their yearly furnace maintenance visits.