The kids are back in school and fall is in the air! Time to take care of pre-winter maintenance. Wait, what?! I’m guilty. The system that provides my family with heat during the freezing Montana winters was always the LAST thing on my mind. That is until you no longer have it! Just like your car needs regular service, so does your furnace to keep it in top running condition so it can keep your family nice and toasty this winter.
Here are our top tips to help you keep your family warm this winter while saving money.
Change your filter a minimum of every three months: After this fire season, I would even check it more frequently. The filter starts out white. Once it turns a nice shade of grey, it’s time to replace it. If your filter is too dirty, it will restrict airflow through your system and can contribute to hot and cold spots in your home and cause your furnace to work too hard. This causes unnecessary wear and tear on moving parts which in turn causes your furnace to wear out more quickly. You can find filters at any hardware or home goods store and you don’t need to spend a fortune! Keep it simple. Some of the high dollar HEPA filters, particularly the plastic filters can restrict airflow too much and cause as much or more damage as an extremely dirty filter. You should anticipate spending between $10 and $25 for a one-inch pleated filter.
Use a programmable thermostat: If you don’t already have one, install a programmable thermostat that you can program to your schedule. If you like to sleep a little cooler, set it to automatically turn down around bedtime. If no one is home during the day, schedule it to turn down a bit during the day when no one is home and kick on an hour before you come home so it’s toasty when you walk in. You don’t want to drop the temperature too much. We recommend no more than 4 degrees of swing as the system will expend more energy to heat it up more than that in a single short time period vs keeping a more moderate temperature through the day or night. You can self-install most simple thermostats if you just have a furnace. If you have a more complex system with AC or any other accessories like humidifiers, HRV’s, etc. you should have a professional install a programmable thermostat for you.
Have a full maintenance tune-up performed by a professional: Just like your car needs maintenance, so does your furnace. There are a lot of moving parts in a furnace and they need to be lubricated annually and cleaned up to ensure proper function through the winter. Corrosion can also occur over time and when maintained properly you can significantly extend the life of your furnace. You should expect to pay anywhere from $150 and $300 for a full maintenance tune-up.
Join the Premier Club: Many companies offer routine maintenance programs with great benefits. You can expect to pay anywhere from $150-$500 for a plan depending on the frequency and how much equipment you have. Many companies also get very busy during the winter months and won’t accept new clients during the busy winter months. By becoming a member, you can get priority scheduling and ensure that you and your family are taken care of when you need it most. Most memberships also come with great discounts on products and services which can save you money when a furnace does encounter problems or eventually need to be replaced.
To find out more about our Premier Club Memberships, programmable thermostat options, and more information on what a furnace tune-up includes, contact us today. You can schedule by calling our office at (406) 333-0177.