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How to Get the Most From Your High-Efficiency Furnace

You have a new high-efficiency furnace. Great! Now, how do you keep that furnace running at peak efficiency?

Understand Your New Furnace

The new high-efficiency furnaces save money and work much better than previous furnaces. However, they are slightly more technical, so furnace maintenance requires contractors with the right expertise. You should also understand that when machinery is more complex it is also more sensitive. This means it is absolutely essential that you do annual cleaning and tuning.

What Will Technicians Need to Check?

There are quite a few things that your furnace repair or furnace maintenance technician will need to do if you have the newest and most efficient gas furnaces.

  1. Expect them to check the igniter and sensor.It’s important to check for specific resistance levels at the igniter. The flame sensor also needs to be checked for wear and then polished to remove buildup.
  2. Expect a combustion analysis. The combustion analyzer measures what’s coming out of the exhaust. This is to see whether the system is burning cleanly. The more cleanly furnaces run, the more efficiently they will perform and the less cleaning they will require.
  3. Expect a temperature measurement. What the technician should be checking is the amount of temperature rise between “off” and full system operation. The furnace should heat somewhere between 40 and 70° during this change. If it heats less than this, condensation can build up and rust can result. If it eats more than this, the heat exchanger may crack.
  4. Expect a check of the gas pressure. It’s also important that your technician check the pressure on both sides the valve where gas enters the furnace. The pressure should be within the specifications required by the manufacturer. Your technician may suggest that you add a pressure sensitive safety valve if your system runs on propane. This will shut the furnace off should gas pressure become too low.
  5. Expect a check for gas leaks. Since gas can be quite dangerous it’s always important to check for any gas leaks. This can be done very simply and efficiently using a soap and water solution that immediately reveals any gaseous emissions. It can also be done with an electronic detector, but these have been known to give false positives.
  6. Expect a check of the heat exchanger and burner. This is similar to the way any heating system would be checked. The technician will be looking for rust, holes, or cracks. He or she will also be checking for a buildup of particles that could interfere with the efficient operation of your furnace.

Get a Better Thermostat

It’s also important to make sure you have an updated smart thermostat in order to get the most out of high-efficiency furnaces. These thermostats allow you to set the temperature to automatically adjust for night and day, or for when people will go to work and school and return home. The thermostat keeps your furnace from running when it’s not necessary for it to do so and so saves you a lot of money, and your furnace some wear and tear.

Keep Everything Sealed and Insulated

If your home is not well sealed or if you don’t have good insulation, the best high-efficiency furnace in the world won’t do you a lot of good. As much as 20% of the air that runs through ductwork can be lost because of holes and improper seals. It’s important to get these checked and serviced. You might also look into getting a ductless system. At the same time, make sure that your installation is in good shape.

Make Sure to Bleed Radiators and Clean Filters

If you have a radiator system for home heating make sure that you bleed the radiators before the season starts. You can do this by letting the furnace heat up and then opening the valve on each radiator. Water will come out from the valve. You’ll know it’s done when only air comes out. If you have a forced air system, make sure all your filters are cleaned at the beginning of the season and periodically throughout.

Your new high-efficiency furnace is a great way to save money and stay comfortable. Make sure you take good care of it so it can take care of you.

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