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3 Things to Know about Your Home’s Furnace

furnace-open-oldThe first thing we think any homeowner should know is that a furnace is far different from a boiler. While they may both burn fuel to generate heat, the way they heat a room is different. While boilers heat water to send it out to rooms of the home for radiant heating, furnaces heat the air, and push that heated air out into the rooms.

Most people in the U.S. have a furnace in the home for their whole-house heating, and it typically runs on natural gas from the municipal supply. Today, we’re focused on these forced-air heaters, as we think there are a few more things any furnace owner should know. Read on, and call in our professionals when you decide you need professional service.

#1: Furnaces Are Safer than They Used to Be

First, you should know that today’s furnaces are so much safer than they used to be. Cutting out the standing pilot light was a major step in improving their safety levels.

Plus, today’s furnaces have many safety switches that activate in case the flow of gases and heat out the flue vent is disrupted, or in case the system seems at risk of overheating. Carbon monoxide poisoning and other potential heating problems are serious dangers, and engineers have worked hard to make the modern heater as resistant as possible.

However, that doesn’t mean that your heating system is 100% safe. It’s still important to have heating inspections before the winter begins, so that you know all the parts are working properly and your heating system is safe.

#2: What’s the Furnace’s Lifespan? It Depends

A question we get all the time from people shopping for a new furnace and those looking to replace their old one is this: how long should my furnace last? The answer is complicated. Older furnaces, those built several decades ago, are no longer considered safe. After 10-15 years of operation, they needed to be replaced.

Today’s furnaces often carry a similar lifespan from the manufacturer. However, with proper maintenance and regular inspections, you may be able to keep your furnace around for longer. Its’ so important to change your filter every month (or three months, at most), and to call in professional technicians every year for maintenance. The better shape your equipment is in, the longer it can last!

#3: High Efficiency Depends on More than Furnace Stats

Finally, something we think you should know about your furnace is that efficiency is key. Finding a furnace with a high AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) may help you to save money on your heating costs. That usually means finding one with an AFUE of 90 or more.

However, you should also know that AFUE isn’t everything. Your heating system could malfunction if it’s not the right size for your home. If it’s too large or too small, this can have a major effect on efficiency, and you may have to replace it sooner than expected. Of course, efficiency ratings also depend on how well you care for your heater. Routine maintenance appointments are still required if you expect to get full efficiency from your heating unit.

Repair, replace, or maintain your home’s furnace in Concord, MA by reaching out to the team at Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC.

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