An older furnace can start to have many problems that affect its performance and energy efficiency. Here is how to troubleshoot the performance of an older furnace.
Keep the Combustion Chamber Clean
One problem that comes up with older furnaces is that they don't combust fuel as efficiently as they used to. Part of the problem is that the combustion chamber can get clogged up with lots of debris, so the fuel doesn't burn as cleanly. But with a furnace repair and inspection, it's easy enough to clean the combustion chamber so that it burns almost like new.
Check on the Pilot Light
A weak pilot light can also affect the performance of your furnace. If you check the pilot light and it is weak or it lights inconsistently, call out a heating maintenance team to troubleshoot ASAP.
Do Regular Maintenance of Parts
Certain parts need to be replaced regularly on all furnaces, but it's even more important when you're trying to keep an older furnace going. The blower is one component that can break easily, as it's constantly in motion. Filters also need to be replaced or cleaned regularly, depending on whether they are permanent or disposable. Check your user manual to determine what other parts should be checked on regularly.
Make Sure the Ductwork Is Intact
Your furnace can't function effectively when it's blowing air into faulty ductwork. When your HVAC ducts have holes in them, air can leak out and you effectively start heating your crawl spaces rather than your home. Have an HVAC inspector out to check on the ducts and seal up any cracks to ensure efficient flow of air. At the same time, you may want to have them clean the ductwork itself. Dust, mold, and other unwanted debris can get stuck on the sides of your ductwork, and then your furnace blows dirty air around your home.
Get a Good Thermostat
Finally, when your furnace is on its last legs and you're trying to make it last longer, you may want to consider how you can economize your heating power better. A programmable thermostat is one way to do this. For example, you can have the heating system shut off during the hours that you are away from the house. Your heater won't need to work all day long just so that the home is warm when you get home for the day.