A quality gas furnace is invaluable in cold weather climates. Unfortunately, though, they can be quite expensive, often needing to be repaired or replaced when you least expect it. Not just that, an old or broken furnace can be harmful to your health by having adverse affects on the air you breathe. It's time to care about Healthy Air.
First and foremost, understanding what type of gas furnace you have, want, or need can be crucial in preparing for potential upgrades.
For example, is your furnace a single-stage, two-stage, or modular unit?
Single stage units have a gas valve that opens and closes to allow gas to flow at one rate - meaning it's either "on" or "off."
Two-stage units have a gas valve that can be adjusted to allow gas to flow on either "low" or "high," allowing for more heating options.
Perhaps the most efficient option, modulating units can adjust the heat it gives off by 1% increments, which allows the unit to adjust how much gas is needed at any given time. This type of furnace is ideal for evenly regulating room temperatures.
On average, the life expectancy for a modern furnace is 16-20 years. As your furnace ages, it wears down, which increases its likelihood for repairs.
This shouldn't be surprising news to any of us. What perhaps is surprising is the potential danger that looms as your furnace ages.
If the heat exchange inside your furnace starts to develop any cracks and carbon monoxide is present, the deadly gas could leak into your home and lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you experience frequent headaches, nausea, burning eyes or nose, or become disoriented, you may want to have your furnace checked.
Be wary of your furnace's age and plan to replace it before any health issues arise. If you notice your furnace making random banging sounds, call a professional.
In general, your gas furnace has the potential to dry out the air in your home. This is particularly common with older furnaces.
Dry air, in general, can already be problematic in colder climates. Having a furnace that further dries out already dry air isn't ideal.
Rather than doubling down on dry air, consider installing a whole-home humidifier, which can help prevent itchy skin, nosebleeds, asthma and allergy irritation, bronchitis, and other symptoms caused by dry air.
You may also want to consider installing a whole-home air purifier to capture the dust, allergens, and other indoor air pollution circulating throughout your home.
Think of your energy bill as your furnace's trusty fortuneteller. It can tell you a lot about your furnace and it's efficiency over time.
If you've noticed your average gas bill has skyrocketed compared to past years, you may need to make repairs or install a new furnace.
Keep track of your bill and the work your unit has to complete in order to heat your home.
In many cases, a humidifier can actually help you save energy costs while extending the life of your furnace. Dry air feels cooler than humidified air. Installing a humidifier allows you to set the temperature a little higher, reducing the workload being placed on your furnace.
seek assistance from a trusted
If you suspect your gas furnace needs maintenance, cleaning, or possibly a replacement, contact a professional to be sure. If you're in the process of building a new home, ask the contractor about energy-efficient units that are built to last.
wait until it's too late
Replacing your furnace is a big investment. Plan to save so that you have the funds to replace your furnace before it becomes an emergency. You're likely to make a better purchasing decision when you're not in panic mode.
install carbon monoxide detectors
Carbon monoxide poisoning can have lasting health effects. Give your family the chance to detect this gas before symptoms set in.
forget the warranty
If you're purchasing a new furnace, spend a little extra on the warranty to protect your investment. Don't stress! Give yourself financial peace of mind.
replace your air filter frequently
Follow your air filter manufacturer's recommendation and replace your air filter as often as needed. You'll also want to make sure you're using genuine air filters that are specific to your home's air system. Generic air filters won't always fit properly, meaning your healthy home's central air system isn't living up to expectations.
“A cold night in January, with the furnace faltering or failed, is not the time to assess your heating system. Do it now.”
A quality gas furnace is a crucial component to your Healthy Home. Pay close attention to your unit, and seek assistance if you suspect an issue. Installing a new furnace is the perfect time to request air purification and humidification information. For assistance with whole-home humidifier or air purifier installations, contact a certified AprilAire Healthy Air Professional near you.Take the First Step