Furnace FAQ: What Homeowners Ought To Know

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Winter brings very low temperatures. If you live in an area that experiences severe weather, you just might be feeling the chill, thanks to freezing temperatures. Hopefully, you had your furnace inspected to ensure that you are ready for the cold months. If your heating equipment has been showing some problems lately, do not wait for the problems to worsen before calling a heating professional for proper diagnostics and repair. If you do it now, you can be assured of comfort and safety throughout the winter.

Winter brings out the inquisitiveness among homeowners who want answers to many questions, particularly about types of services they can access should problems arise. Those who have older heating systems may want to know what they need to consider before buying a new HVAC system to maximize their cost. In this article, we will answer these common furnace FAQ.

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Is Furnace Maintenance Absolutely Necessary?

Yes. Regular furnace maintenance is critical in maintaining the efficiency and proper function of the heating system. In fact, you need to show proof of regular furnace maintenance for the manufacturer to honor the warranty. Manufacturers also provide a user’s manual that contains detailed instructions on the care of the unit. For regular maintenance, simply follow the instructions on the manual. This will help prevent premature wear-and-tear and costly damages. With simple maintenance and professional tune-ups, you can ensure that your heating system will remain efficient, safe, and will last longer.

When Should I Schedule Furnace Repairs?

Never try to fix a problem if it shows up. Always call a professional HVAC professional immediately. If you delay a checkup, the problem could worsen, and you might have to pay more. The earlier you call for help, the better the chances that the problem will be resolved successfully. Make sure to work only with a reputable furnace company.

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When Should I Replace My Furnace?

There is no such thing as a specific date to replace your furnace. This will all depend on its condition and efficiency. Most furnaces can last for as long as 15 or even 20 years with excellent care. However, once the furnace has reached the 10-year mark, you might want to start considering a new unit and saving up for it. A new furnace, with its features and high efficiency, will trump even an older, well-maintained unit.

What Are the Signs That I Should Replace My Furnace?

There are common signs that your furnace will give you once it begins to deteriorate to a point when it can no longer be repaired. Look out for issues such as pilot light failure, inadequate heat, worsening corrosion, delayed ignition, and strange odors. If there is a marked decrease in energy efficiency and/or an increase in energy consumption, it may be time to have your furnace replaced.

How Often Should Furnace Filters Be Replaced?

HVAC filters help prevent particulates such as dust, dirt, and pollen from polluting indoor air. However, air filters accumulate these particulates and become clogged over time. To ensure that furnace air filters work efficiently, check them once a month and replace them when they are dirty.

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Which Type Of Furnace Is Right For Me?

The right furnace is one that matches your home and needs. The sizing or capacity must be sufficient so it can generate enough heat to keep your home warm and comfortable. Look for a unit with an AFUE rating that is higher than 80%. Do not consider anything lower than this.

Is It Possible To Reduce My Heating Bill At Home?

When it comes to household expenses, the heating bill often takes the chunk. You can reduce your expenses by conducting basic maintenance regularly. Regular furnace maintenance helps keep the system efficient, allowing it to use less fuel while running. You can also set the thermostat at a slightly lower temperature to avoid overworking the system.

high heating bills

How Is Furnace Size Or Capacity Determined?

Multiple factors come into play when determining the size of the furnace that is perfect for your home. These factors include total floor area, insulation, the orientation of the house, regional climate, ceiling height, and environment, such as the presence of trees and shrubbery. To get the most accurate figure, ask your HVAC contractor to do a Manual J load calculation.

How Long Do New Furnaces Last?

Generally, you can expect a new furnace to last from 15 to more than 20 years – that is, provided it receives regular care and maintenance. The size and capacity of the furnace also matters because you do not want the unit to be overworked or under-utilized. If you are unsure, ask your HVAC contractor about the perfect size for your home.

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What Is An AFUE Rating Of A Furnace?

AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. It is the ratio that indicates the heat production of the unit relative to fuel consumption. The ideal AFUE rating to look for is a minimum of 80%. Do not go for furnaces that are rated lower than this figure. If you want to check the AFUE rating on your unit, look for information on its user’s manual or on the faceplate on the unit itself.



We rely heavily on heating systems such as furnaces for comfort and warmth during the cold winter months. Without a working furnace, it is not only difficult to live comfortably indoors, but it is also quite inconvenient and unsafe.

Furnaces are quite stable and robust equipment and will likely last for 20 years or longer. However, these systems do not need to be kept clean and maintained not just by technicians but also by the homeowners themselves. As a homeowner, you have to do your part to keep your furnace in good shape. Check your air filters monthly and clean or replace them when they are dirty. Schedule an annual furnace tune-up for preventative maintenance checks and to identify potential problems. A yearly tune-up will allow technicians to inspect, clean, and perform minor repairs on your furnace.

If you have an older unit, consider having it replaced, especially if you experience frequent breakdowns, rising fuel consumption, and poor performance. A new unit will not only keep your home comfortable, but it will also save you on cost and energy consumption over time.

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Call McAllister Energy For Your Home Heating Needs

McAllister Energy is one of the leading HVAC contractors in the region. Our NATE-certified technicians can assist you in ensuring that you choose the best systems for your needs. We provide fast, accurate, and thorough services that range from heating system tune-ups and repairs to installations and replacements. If you have questions on how to keep your home energy efficient, maintain safety, and improve indoor air quality, call McAllister Energy today for a free, in-home consultation.

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