The importance of having a properly functioning boiler or furnace during the brutally cold Wisconsin winter months cannot be overstated. With average high temperatures in the 30s for the duration of the season, and record lows that have dipped to -26°F, avoiding an emergency heating repair is an absolute must.
On top of avoiding a last-minute furnace repair that could temporarily leave you without heating, boiler and furnace maintenance is essential for conserving energy. During the winter months, heating your home can account for between 40 to 60 percent of your household’s total energy bill. Ensuring that your heating system is running efficiently reduces your total energy consumption, which can save you hundreds of dollars per year.
Want to know the best ways to keep your boiler or heater running smoothly? Here are five expert tips from our team at Austin.
1. Don’t skip routine maintenance visits
Did you know that 80 percent of all emergency heating calls can be prevented with regular maintenance visits? Instead of having to suddenly spend hundreds for repairs, be proactive about having your boiler or heater serviced throughout the year. It is recommended that you have your boiler or HVAC unit serviced twice per year.
If you have an HVAC unit, The HVAC Club is our affordable maintenance membership program. For less than $1 per day, you’ll receive two Factory Fresh tune-ups (a $400 value) per year. Our 120+ step tune-up process provides you with the peace of mind that your HVAC system is working at peak condition. Each Factory Fresh tune-up also helps ensure that your HVAC system is running as efficiently as possible, saving you money on your monthly heating bill.
2. Pay attention to your thermostat
Your thermostat can be a good initial indicator that something isn’t quite right with your heating system. In the absence of any unusual sounds or obvious issues, your thermostat can track how quickly your home is warming up. If the temperature is rising significantly slower than usual, there could be a problem with the actual heating unit. Before the problem escalates, be sure to schedule a service call to uncover the root cause.
3. Replace household filters on a set schedule
Replacing your household filters is crucial for maintaining healthy air quality — and for keeping your furnace in top condition. Air filters help protect your HVAC system from damage, but only if they are changed routinely.
How often should you replace your household air filters? For the most basic varieties, it is recommended that you exchange filters every 30 to 60 days. If you are using premium filters, changing them every three months is sufficient.
4. Inspect your home for air leaks
Making your boiler or furnace work overtime is a common way to strain the system. If there is excessive air flow leaking in from the outdoors — through windows, doors, and other spaces — your heater will have to work extra hard to bring your home up to your desired temperature.
Conducting an air flow audit throughout your home is a great way to identify places that may need new or additional sealing. How can you detect energy leaks in your home? Perform a visual inspection for gaps and cracks along door and window frames, baseboards, vents, attic hatches, electrical outlets, and fireplace dampers. Shining a light at potential cracks and gaps at night can help you confirm places that may need to be sealed up to prevent continued energy loss.
5. Don’t wait to address concerns
Did your heater sound different than usual when you first turned it on for the season? Does your house not feel as warm as it usually does? If you have a concern with how your boiler or furnace is running, don’t wait to address it. Doing so could result in a costly, last-minute emergency heater repair call.
Here are some of the most common signs that your heater needs to be serviced:
- Unusual or loud noises
- Struggling to heat your house
- Odors coming from the heater (including gas or exhaust smells)
- Turning off/on frequently
- Leaking water
If your boiler or furnace hasn’t been inspected recently, now is the time to have it looked at by our team of professionals. Contact us today to schedule your visit.