You expect your furnace to be reliable and, for the most part, it usually works without a hitch. The average furnace is capable of offering up to 20 years of uneventful service, depending on how well it's maintained throughout its life.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of factors that could take years off of your furnace's service life. The following highlights three of these common issues and the impact they can have on your heating system.
1. Constant Dust and Debris Buildup
Ignoring dust buildup can literally choke the life out of your furnace. Heavy dust buildup makes it more difficult to push indoor air through your heating system and ductwork, causing your furnace to use more energy than what's normally necessary. The extra stress and strain placed on various furnace components can also lead to faster wear and tear. The extra energy consumed also shows up on your next month's utility bill.
Obstructions created by a clogged air filter, dirty ductwork or air vents caked in dust and debris buildup can eventually cause your furnace to fail prematurely. Keeping tabs on your air filter and having your ducts cleaned on a regular basis can help preserve and even extend your furnace's service life.
2. Rust and Corrosion
Furnaces are also vulnerable to rust and corrosion buildup -- especially condensing furnaces that generate potentially corrosive condensate as a byproduct of the heating process. A steady accumulation of rust and corrosion can cause various furnace components to deteriorate over time.
Some components are more susceptible to rust and corrosion than others. Rust holes on your furnace's heat exchanger, for instance, can render the entire furnace dangerous to use due to the increased risk of carbon monoxide leaks. Once the heat exchanger is damaged, there's usually no other option than to replace the entire furnace.
3. Lack of Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance plays a crucial role in keeping your furnace in peak condition. By following your HVAC technician's recommended service regimen, you're able to avoid a broad range of problems that could easily sideline your heating system. Skimping out on regularly scheduled maintenance remains one of the fastest ways of shortening your furnace's lifespan.
While a lack of preventative maintenance often comes from budgeting issues, many homeowners simply forget to have service done on their heating equipment. Purchasing a service contract from your HVAC contractor essentially guarantees regularly scheduled service, saving you the trouble of a frantic service call the next time you forget about your HVAC maintenance. To learn more, contact a company like Advanced Heating & Cooling.