Keeping An Old Furnace Alive

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Buying a new furnace can be expensive, and not everyone has the money for such an expense. This means that extending the life of your old furnace may not be a choice, but a necessity. When you need to increase the operating life of your furnace by as much as you can, regular and attentive maintenance is a must. Like all machines, it will break down eventually – but you don't have to let it go without a fight.

Give Your Furnace New Life

Take the following steps to bring new life to an old furnace:

  1. Change your filter – You may have done this regularly. If you are like most people, though, you may have let the filter replacement slide. This is not advised, especially with an older, more sensitive heater. The filter cleans the air that enters the machinery, preventing dirt and dander from gumming up the works. Make sure to change the filter around once a month. If you don't remember when the last time you changed the filter was, go ahead and change it now.

  2. Give it a break – If your furnace is old, there may be only so many more miles left on it. If you want to avoid being completely without heat – barring professional furnace repair or replacement – then try to minimize your use of your older furnace. Many people kick on the heat far more often than they need to. Shut off vents to unused rooms, make sure to weatherize doors and windows and wear pants and long sleeves to cut down on the use of the heater.

  3. Remove obstructions from vents and intakes – Don't make the furnace work any harder than it has to. Improve airflow by removing any obstructions to vents throughout the house – think toys, furniture, rugs – and also take a look at the actual furnace unit. It may have an intake vent right on the box, or it may pull air from an external wall. Either way, make sure nothing is blocking this intake area.

  4. Have it checked out by a professional – Regular, professional maintenance is the best way to prevent an unnecessary breakdown. Basic maintenance is much cheaper than a full furnace replacement. Contact a local furnace repair company and schedule a routine maintenance call. The professional can come in and give you an honest assessment on the state of your existing furnace, what can be done to prolong its life, and when replacement is likely to be necessary.   

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