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This week here on Tech Tips we are talking about how global natural gas shortages could affect energy prices this winter and how your home will be impacted.

Since early in 2022 we have seen prices inflate and fluctuate, unfortunately the HVAC industry is no different and isn’t immune to these issues. We have also noticed specifically that shortages of natural gas and natural gas appliances are expected to become more apparent as we move into winter.

With that being said, we’re going to break down a few things you can do to help save some money this winter and keep your home warm.

The first thing you can do and it may sound obvious is to make sure all of your windows have a tight seal and that there are no air gaps. Oftentimes in the fall we open our windows for a fresh breeze, but sometimes they’re not closed all the way. This can cause drafts and even lower your household temperature several degrees. Which in turn will make your furnace work harder to keep your house warm and cost you more money in energy costs.

Secondly, you’re going to want to make sure that you do your routine fall maintenance and prepare your home for winter. If you’re not part of an HVAC maintenance plan already, we suggest you check out the Superior Club Membership. However, if you have your maintenance scheduled and your furnace is in good shape you’re going to want to make sure you’ve changed your furnace filter.

A clogged furnace filter can create reduced airflow over the heating element and will reduce the distance warm air can travel and the overall volume of warm air in your home. After you’ve replaced your furnace filter, you’re going to want to check all of your vents and returns to make sure they’re clear of any obstructions of furniture blocking their airflow. This is just as important as keeping your air filter clean. Reduced airflow through your home will cost you more money this winter by making your furnace continue to work harder to heat your home.

Last but not least, if you’ve been considering upgrading your furnace in years past, there are several high-efficiency options available that can use less energy to heat your home and provide you with energy savings all winter long. In many cases you can get systems designed to use as little energy as possible and still effectively heat your home.

Some of these systems are even able to learn your patterns and habits so that they can reduce their energy usage and heat the home when it matters most. If you’re considering a high-efficiency furnace, give us a call and ask to speak with a Comfort Specialist for more information.

Thank you for checking out Tech Tips this week, and make sure you check back again next week for a new topic.

Why Annual HVAC Maintenance is Important

Furnace Manufacturers’ Recommendations

No matter what brand of furnace you have, the manufacturer is going to recommend that you have your furnace inspected and maintained by a certified technician. While this may seem like overkill, especially if you just installed your unit, skipping an inspection could mean that your warranty is voided. You could end up having to pay out of pocket for a repair cost that would have otherwise been covered by your warranty. In this case, annual furnace maintenance may not be completely necessary, but it is a smart and preventative measure that can save you money in the long run.

Ultimately, the simple answer to the question, “Do I need annual furnace maintenance?” is a clear, yes. While you may be able to go a few years without running into any problems, your furnace could be experiencing rust, corrosion, blocks, and leakages during that time. In the short term, these issues can affect the overall energy efficiency of your furnace. Over the long term, they can turn into major problems that leave you in the cold. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your furnace and your home.

$85 Furnace Check-Up Special

What is Included in the Annual Furnace Maintenance?

As you shop around for the right HVAC company to conduct your annual furnace inspection, you may notice that different companies refer to similar services by different names. A maintenance service may also be called an inspection, tune-up, check-up, or safety check. Ultimately, this is because there isn’t an industry gold standard for furnace maintenance and various companies will offer different levels of thoroughness.

You will want to make sure that you know exactly what is included in the maintenance service before you agree to hire the company. Here are some basic steps that should be included in your service:

  • Check the entire vent system for leaks or blockages. All connection points both inside and outside of the furnace should be inspected and repaired if necessary.
  • The technician should take a reading of the combustion gases and make sure that they are within range of the unit specifications.
  • The heat exchanger should be checked for any signs of corrosion or rust.
  • All of the burners should be igniting properly and producing a strong flame.
  • The blower wheel should be inspected and cleaned. Any debris should be removed so that it can operate freely.
  • The drainage system should be inspected for leaks and blockages. If necessary, the drain and trap should be cleaned.
  • All the wiring should be visually inspected and tested. Any corrosion or other damage should be addressed.
  • The blower access door should be tightly sealed.

Checking all these furnace components on an annual basis will identify any problems early on and make sure that your furnace fires up without a problem on the first cold day of the year. Without regular maintenance, you may find yourself suffering through the cold till an HVAC repair technician can visit your home.


Can I Do Annual Furnace Maintenance Myself?

If you have a general knowledge of furnaces, you could do a visual inspection of your unit and identify any problems. However, this could void your warranty and if you do find any problems, you would still need to call in a professional to make the repairs. Going the DIY route may save you a little money, but there is a chance you could end up spending much more to have an HVAC tech come in after-hours to do an emergency repair.

Regular maintenance is an inexpensive way to prolong the life of your furnace, avoid costly repairs and enjoy a comfortable home throughout the winter. Partner with an experienced technician who can schedule regular, annual appointments and conduct a thorough maintenance inspection for an affordable price.

Schedule an $85 Furnace Check-Up Special Today

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