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The furnace in your basement, like your water heater or sump pump, is one of those home appliances that you probably don’t give much thought to until the cool autumn weather settles in and the temperatures begin to drop both inside and outside the house. When that first cold snap hits, though, suddenly we’re all very anxious to warm things up to a more comfortable level. Of course, this sometimes means finding an HVAC professional who can do a last-minute furnace repair before Jack Frost moves in.

The good news is, if you do need a furnace repair in Olathe, Davenport Service Company is here for all of your HVAC needs. Even better? We’ve got a list of some simple things you can do at home to help prevent the need for furnace repairs in the first place!

Invest in Annual Maintenance. This is probably the most important thing that you can do for the longevity and proper functioning of your furnace. For the same reason that your car needs to have its oil changed or your lawnmower needs its blade sharpened every spring, you should also be investing in preventive annual maintenance for your furnace and air conditioner. A routine inspection can spot problems before they get worse, and annual maintenance ensures that your HVAC system is operating efficiently. An HVAC professional will check all components for wear and tear and make any necessary adjustments. Most furnace breakdowns happen when small problems develop into bigger issues over time. Regular maintenance can help eliminate the need for furnace repairs by addressing these minor issues before they worsen. What’s more, a furnace that is improperly maintained can lose efficiency by more than 20% each year, which adds up on your utility bills.

Stop the Thermostat Wars. We’ve all been there. One person in the house wants the heat turned up, while someone else wants the heat turned down, and every time one of them walks past the thermostat, they make a 5- or 10-degree adjustment. The problem is, this can be genuinely hard on your furnace. It isn’t like turning the volume on the TV up or down. When the thermostat changes, your furnace works harder. It takes more energy for your furnace to kick on than it does for your house to stay at a steady temperature all day, and making all those adjustments means that the furnace is turning on and off repeatedly, which is not only bad for your heating bill, it also adds additional wear and tear to the mechanical parts of your furnace. This can cause it to break down more often, leading to expensive repairs or even the need for a new furnace!

Change the filters. Besides making sure you get routine maintenance from a licensed HVAC professional, probably the best thing you can do for your furnace is to change your air filters regularly. Changing the filters once a month or even every other month is recommended, but the most important thing is that you be consistent. Filters are designed to filter dust, debris, and particulate matter from the air, which means that eventually they become clogged. When this happens, not only does your home’s overall air quality suffer, but your furnace has to work harder to push air through, making breakdowns and repairs more likely.

Open all the vents and registers. For the proper functioning of your furnace and air conditioner, it’s important to keep all of your vents and registers open and unobstructed. And yes, that includes the ones in rooms that you don’t use very often. The reason for this is relatively simple: Your HVAC system is designed to heat and cool your whole house evenly. Closing off vents simply makes your furnace or A/C work harder, in spite of a persistent myth that closing off rooms you don’t use can save money on your heating or cooling bills. Besides keeping them open, it’s also important to keep vents and registers unobstructed, which means not covering them with furniture or other objects.

Give it space. In addition to making sure that all your vents and registers are open, you should also ensure that your furnace has room to “breathe.” The actual furnace unit itself needs air to work, and if it’s surrounded by a bunch of junk, that can suffocate your air intake, forcing your furnace to work harder to do the job. This leads to more inefficient heating and, eventually, to costly furnace repairs. Make sure that your furnace has a little open space around it so that it can get the air it needs.

Watch for the signs. Are you having trouble keeping your house as warm as you want it? Does it seem like your furnace is always running? Are there cold spots in certain rooms? Odd noises coming from your vents? Any of these might be indications of a problem with your home HVAC system, which might necessitate a furnace repair. But weren’t we supposed to be telling you how to avoid those? Sure, but sometimes avoidance isn’t an option. If your furnace does have a problem, catching it early will probably make repairs a lot more affordable.

Replace it! If your furnace is 15 to 20 years old, it’s probably already showing its age, even if you haven’t noticed it yet. The average lifespan of a well-maintained furnace is around that long, and as it gets toward the end of its life, a furnace is more likely to need frequent repairs. It’s often cheaper in the long run to upgrade to a brand-new furnace than it is to keep the old one limping along. Plus, a newer furnace is bound to be more efficient than that 20-year-old beast in the basement, which will help save you money on your heating costs.

Whether you’re looking to replace your old furnace, need furnace repair in Olathe, or just want to schedule a tune-up, Davenport Service Company is here for you. We provide all sorts of HVAC services in Olathe and surrounding communities, so give us a call today at 913-441-2222 and let us help you stay warm all winter long!

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