With Arctic freezes and Polar vortexes around us, it is no surprise that people face dreary winters with threat to not just travel and work, but also maintenance of precious appliances. To avoid emergency and very expensive heating repairs when temperatures dip, it is important to ensure that your furnaces and heating systems are in the best working condition. If they are not, it will result in an unhealthy atmosphere and extremely cruel living conditions. And the blame and responsibility to ensure their proper maintenance falls on the woman of the house. There are some things that the woman should remember to avoid last minute repairs or being blind sighted by the cold.
Throw Out the Old; Bring in the New
Ladies, if you move into an old home, old but sturdy, then you should keep in mind that the appliances and utilities might not be in the best shape. So after repairing the structure of the house, you must pay attention to the furnace. You might not need a new furnace, but you might have to do some repair work on it.
If you have to buy a new furnace, then you must check its quality. There are several factors that play a key role in determining the quality level of the furnace; BTU level, existence of an air filter and humidifier and the brand. Some furnaces have an air filter fit into them. An air filter is especially helpful if you or anyone in the house, especially young kids, are allergic to dust or small particles in the air. A build-in humidifier is very important as it eases the dryness in the air and static in electricity.
Before you go out into the market and buy that essential furnace, make sure that you conduct a thorough check in your own home to see the type of construction. This will help determine the type of furnace you purchase. Check whether you have a natural gas line, a propane tank or an oil tank and the source of electricity, as well its intensity. Is your house in an area where there is a problem with the electric connection?
This is not just another complex acronym without an explanation. AFUE or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency is a federal government requirement, which rates equipment for efficiency. The higher the rating, the better the model. Gas furnaces are rated for AFUE based upon the amount of heat used to warm your home from burned fuel. A 90% furnace will use 90% of the available heat to warm you. 10% of the heat is vented outside. Older furnaces are often as low as 60% efficient. So they need to be repaired to bring their efficiency up.
Types of Furnaces
There are three types - a single-stage, 2-stage and variable-speed. The 2-stage and variable speed furnaces give greater humidity control, quieter operation and better air circulation and temperature distribution throughout the house. So if you have an older version that needs constant repair, it would suit you better to replace it with a more modern version.
Do It Yourself
Some DIY tips include preventive maintenance of the furnace. Always check the filter and do it periodically, especially before the winter season. This will ensure optimal energy efficiency and air quality. Ensure that the thermostat is set to 'heat' and is a few degrees above the room temperature and check whether the fan works. If it does not come on, then the unit might be frozen and needs to be checked at the level of the main furnace.
Ladies, remember that you can do all the prevention by yourself, without having to hire a mechanic. But if you have even an ounce of a doubt, a little bit of help can go a long way.