Four Ways To Help An Aging Heating System "Keep Up"

If you have an older heating system in your home, you may notice that there are days when it struggles to keep up. On the coldest days of the year, your heating system may constantly run in an effort to keep your home warm, or your home may never quite reach that ideal setting on the thermostat. While replacing your furnace may be the best choice, in the long run, there are a few things you can do to help your furnace keep up in the meantime, such as:

Change the filter.

The furnace filter's job is to remove dust and other particles from the air. As it does so, it becomes more and more clogged with dirt, making it harder for your furnace to blow air through it. If the filter becomes too clogged, your furnace won't be able to heat your home as effectively. So, replace the furnace filter at the beginning of each month. Consider buying a bulk pack of filters, so you always have a fresh, new one on hand.

Open all of the vents.

You might be tempted to close the vents in rooms you don't use often. But this can have the opposite effect that you desire. The closed vents add resistance to the heating system, making it harder for your furnace to blow air through. To ease the burden on your furnace and help it keep up, it's best to open all vents throughout the home. Make sure there is not any furniture or other items in front of the vents, either.

Seal drafty areas.

The more cold air enters your home, the longer your furnace will have to run to re-achieve the set temperature. If your windows are leaky, apply caulk or plastic film to keep the drafts out. Put a door snake under each door, and have cracks in exterior walls repaired. Filling them with sticky caulk is a good temporary solution if you're on a tight budget.

Don't let the temperature fall too low.

Turning your thermostat down when you leave home is usually a good strategy for energy efficiency, but it's not a great idea if your furnace is really struggling to keep up. If the home temperature falls to 55 while you're away, for instance, your furnace will have to work really hard to get it back up to a more comfortable 65. Until you get a new furnace, you're best off leaving the temperature setting constant, so your furnace is not over-burdened. 

Contact a company like Reid’s AC & Heat for more information and assistance.