Gas furnaces are the #1 way to heat homes in the Central Valley. In fact, they’re the #1 way to heat homes across the country thanks to their powerful heating ability and the lower cost of natural gas compared to electricity. Furnaces are dependable and energy-saving.
If your household is one of the numerous ones that uses a furnace for heating in Fresno, CA, we have some advice for what not to do this coming winter. These are common mistakes people make with gas furnaces that can lead to them working poorly or even becoming hazardous. We want you to stay safe all winter and enjoy the best performance from your gas furnace, so watch out for these 5 furnace mistakes.
ONE: Skipping the furnace’s regular maintenance
We cannot stress this enough—a gas furnace must have an annual inspection and tune-up conducted by a licensed HVAC professional. Maintenance is essential for ensuring the furnace doesn’t have any potential safety problems, and it catches other repair issues early so they can be fixed before the winter cold. Maintenance will also extend the furnace’s service life and reduce the amount of repairs it will need. Have maintenance scheduled for your furnace before winter arrives.
TWO: Leaving the same furnace filter in place all winter
When our technicians perform maintenance for your furnace, they’ll put in a new furnace filter. After that, you must handle changing the filter regularly. A filter will need to be changed out at least once per winter, and possibly every month. Leaving the same filter in place will cut into the furnace’s energy efficiency, cause a drop in airflow, and may even lead to the furnace tripping a circuit breaker.
THREE: Storing objects too close to the furnace
If your furnace is in a closet or in the garage, you might store items right up against it. We don’t advise this, since it might become a fire hazard. Try to give the furnace cabinet about a foot of clearance. And don’t store highly flammable materials like paint thinner anywhere near the furnace.
FOUR: Blocking the room vents
Take a tour of the rooms in your house before you turn on your furnace for the season to see that all the vents are open and unobstructed. Furniture may have been moved to block some of the vents, or they may have their louvers closed. Blocking vents to unused rooms doesn’t cut down on energy use—it increases air pressure in the HVAC system that can lead to damage.
FIVE: Ignoring signs of malfunctions
Please call for professional repair assistance as soon as you notice odd behavior from your home’s furnace. Dismissing something like an odd noise as only a “minor” problem could put your comfort in jeopardy. Or worse. Pay attention to warning signs such as cold spots around the house, acrid smells from the vents, the furnace rapidly turning on and off, tripped circuit breakers, or gas bills that are much higher than normal.