Home Maintenance – Duct Cleaning & Furnace Maintenance
Furnace maintenance is so commonly over-looked, we often forget that it filters the air we breath literally every moment of everyday in our homes. Making sure that our furnace filters are clean ensure that our lungs aren’t taking on the burden of trying to screen all the natural dust, mold, dander and really who knows what else floating around in the air. Breathing these things in can really put our families at risk of harmful issues like asthma, allergies or much more serious respiratory complications. Not only should we look at this from a health standpoint but by means of efficiency and mechanical longevity. Our furnaces will function so much longer when cleaned on a regular basis and made sure to be cleared of any debris. The harder the furnace has to work the more energy it will have to use, in turn creating unnecessary costs not only in utility bills but potential service issues. There are so many internal parts to a furnace that if too much dust builds up in the functional components it can force everything to work harder and decrease the lifespan of the unit overall.
There are a few easy steps we can take into consideration when maintaining our furnaces;
1. Make changing your air filter a part of your monthly schedule- Changing your air filter every one to three months is really the easiest and most cost-effective thing you can do to make sure you are keeping your family safe from all the harmful bacteria that may be in the air. How often you change your filter is going to depend on the desired functionality you wish to achieve. There is really quite a large variety of filters as well brand-names, it is advised to read the label and description to base your decision on which type of filter would best suite you. Here is the more common range:
– Fibreglass/synthetic filters – which filter out up to 80% of the larger dust microns and prevents build up to help let the components of your furnace to remain clean and operate efficiently. These are the cost-effective end of the spectrum and are considered to provide the minimum amount of protection against harmful contaminants but allow the maximum amount of airflow.
– Polyester filters – made from high quality materials, these filters jump to being about 80 to 95% better efficiency rate in terms of trapping/eliminating the harmful air microns. Typically, these filters are going to run you around 4 times the amount of the traditional fiberglass filter.
– Electrostatic filter – use self charging fibres to attract particles out of the air. These are both available in disposable and washable form. Although, they can be quite a bit more expensive they do carry a longer life expectancy. When using the washable filters, it is important to note that the filter must be completely dry before reinstalling otherwise mold and mildew can become and issue.
– Pleated filter – considered to be the high efficiency filter. It is able to trap the smallest of particles in size which are commonly the bacteria and viruses we often face when getting sick. These are an optimal choice as they last longer and eliminate the majority of the pollutants in the air without sacrificing airflow in your home.
-HEPA filter – high efficiency particulate air filter provides 99% air filtration of the smallest of particles. They are excellent for eliminating indoor air pollutants and create a much healthier environment within the home. The downside is that they are quite a bit more expensive then all the other filters and can drastically reduce your systems airflow.
2. Scheduled maintenance with a trusted HVAC specialist – during the maintenance tune-up, your heating technician will perform steps that work to improve system performance. The technician cleans and lubricates essential components, so they can operate without stress, decreasing the likelihood of breakdowns and excessive energy consumption. The technician will check to make sure parts are functioning properly and look for common problem areas to make sure things will run smoothly in between visits. It is also a good idea to open up the furnace door yourself and blow out any dust build up that may be visible, this may save you a service call as well. By taking preventative measures you can be confident that your air system will run smoothly, and you will not be left cold on a long winter’s night.
3. Scheduled duct cleanings – periodic visits by duct cleaning companies should be made every 3 to 5 years. No matter how clean we try and keep our homes the dust particles and allergens are all around us and will fill every crevice and crack they can get into. Over time these can build up and create a small film that will line the inside of our air ducts. It is very important to have a cleaning company come and professionally clean these our so that we are not exposed to inhaling the unnecessary bacteria that is in the air. This can be a bit costly although very much worth the health of your family.
For more information on duct cleaning, visit Town & Country’s website at http://tccomfort.com/residential/duct-cleaning/