Almost everyone has experienced waking up in the middle of a cold winter night only to find out the furnace isn't turning on. This can leave you scurrying for an alternate heat source and getting a hold of a HVAC company to come fix the problem. Avoiding issues before they become major problems is key to making sure that your furnace runs smoothly as the winds are blustery outside. Here are a few ways to avoid an emergency HVAC call.

Upgrade Your Model

Before you have to start using your furnace this winter, there are a few things to consider such as:

  • Is your furnace over 10 years old?
  • Have you put a lot of money into repairs over the past few years?
  • Do your gas and electric bills go up considerably in the winter?
  • Does your furnace run constantly?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, it may be time to swap out your existing furnace for a new energy-savvy model. New models range in efficiency between 80 and 97 percent. The higher the AFUE or annual fuel utilization efficiency—the easier it turns fuel into energy. Older furnaces have outdated components that allow them to run harder and longer than newer models.

If you've had to repair parts such as the heat exchanger or blower with your forced air heating furnace, it may be an indication that the motor is the next to go. Upgrading helps you save money in the long run.

Perform Routine Maintenance

Before Mother Nature starts to bring in colder breezes, talk to your HVAC professional about a maintenance check. He will perform a comprehensive check on your system to spot potential problems that could lead to a future furnace breakdown. He will make sure everything is functioning properly, including:

  • Making sure the thermostat is working effectively
  • Examining electrical connections and measuring motor current
  • Checking the system evaporator and condenser coil
  • Looking at the gas valve operation, gas connections and burners
  • Replace air filters, if necessary
  • Check all system controls and safety circuitry

Checking operational furnace performance helps to detect any problems that could damage your furnace.

Get Your Furnace Serviced

If your furnace is broke at the moment and not operating correctly, getting the issue fixed now rather than during peak repair season in the fall or winter can save you money. Maybe your central air conditioning unit isn't running properly. When the HVAC specialist like one from Sturm Heating Inc. comes to service your unit, ask him to check for problems with the main furnace also. Getting the issue resolved early on will prevent a major issue when the furnace is working at maximum capacity.

Weatherproof Your Home

One way to reduce the workload placed on your forced air furnace is to allow it to run as efficiently as possible. This can be done by weatherproofing your home. Caulk gaps in windows, seal open spaces in your door jambs and apply plastic or vinyl to single-paned windows. This makes your home more air tight and allows your furnace and air conditioning unit to run less.

Resolving heating and cooling issues ahead of time helps to prevent big heating system repairs in the future. Contact a HVAC professional specializing in both furnace and air conditioning installation.