5 Tips to Increase the Lifespan of Your Heater
Heaters are expensive, whether we’re talking water heaters, furnaces, or space heaters. They pull down a lot of electricity. They also usually come with a high price tag, and more than that, you absolutely need them. Heaters aren’t expenses you can ignore – if your heater breaks, you could be in a world of hurt.
But how can you increase your heater lifespan? How can you keep your heater going more extended, for cheaper?
1. Regularly Replace the Filters
Filters are cheap and easy to clean or replace. But you may often overlook these in the greater scope of maintenance issues. Remember that neglected filters can cause the kind of problems that balloon into catastrophic failures. It will also increase your energy bills – the heater is working just as hard, but you’re not feeling it because of a clogged filter. So, it stays on longer, and your bills start shooting through the roof.
For a furnace, you really ought to check it every month for debris. A clogged filter on a furnace can lead to a fire, so be sure to clean it at least every month to every three months, depending on how often you use it.
For a water heater, you should clean the filter about 2 or 3 times a year, depending on usage. The same rules apply to the water heater as the furnace – no air flow means it works harder, working harder means its more expensive and more dangerous.
If you’ve got a radiator to heat your home, make sure to clean out the vents, which are usually about half-way up the radiator. Also, make sure a couch or a desk haven't covered those holes.
2. Keep an Eye on Your Pipes
One of the easiest ways to increase your heater lifespan is to periodically peek at the pipes going into and out of your heater. Whether it’s a furnace, a radiator, or a water heater, leaky connections can impact your energy bills at best, and cause property damage or injury at worst.
Go all the way around your furnace, radiator, or water heater. Check the gas lines for leaks. Gas-powered machines emit a hissing sound or a damp smell if it's leaking. If you suspect a gas leak, make sure to contact a professional immediately (and shut off the gas).
Also look for drips or exceptionally clean parts of the floor near your water heater – this could mean that water has been dripping on one particular spot, even if it isn’t leaking right now.
3. Upgrade the Thermostat
Does your heater have an old thermostat on it? The problem with the older thermostats is that they aren’t as reliable or accurate as the new digital models. While that may not seem like a big deal, having an accurate temperature reading means you know exactly when you need to turn the HVAC system on.
If your thermostat is reading colder than it is, your heater may be switching on when you don’t want or need it too.
A thermostat upgrade is a quick, easy replacement that can increase the lifespan of your heater.
4. Think Outside of the Heater
Whatever you’re using to heat your house, it’s only going to be as useful as the insulation in your home. If the heat can’t stay inside, then the heater is going to be working a lot harder. It also works for a lot shorter amount of time before it kicks the bucket.
Though it can be expensive, consider switching to double-paned windows. This will save you plenty of money and maintenance for both your heater and your air-conditioner.
Take a look at your exterior doors – do they have the proper weather stripping? Is it fashioned securely? Double-check all of your windows for the same thing.
5. Open Up Your Vents
Do you have any closed vents in the house? Well, it turns out that closing vents in your home causees additional strain on the HVAC system. You have to note that the vents and intakes are designed with particular geography in mind. The increased pressure from having parts of the system closed off can cause additional wear and tear on the system.
Schedule Regular Maintenance to Increase Heater Lifespan
Many of the things on this list can be done quickly, without any specialized tools or knowledge. However, if your heater lifespan is something you wish to extend, it’s a good idea to get the professionals in every once in a while.
Whether we’re talking radiators, furnace, gas heaters, electric heaters, or water heaters, schedule a once a year appointment to get your heater inspected.