Consumer Info >> Furnace Maintenance
How do I install my blanket filter?
The filter is installed with the dark blue side out (facing the airflow). The light blue/white side faces in.Quick tip: Did you know that kitchen and bathroom fans can remove the cool air of an entire house in just one hour? The U.S. Department of Energy suggests using your kitchen and bathroom fans sparingly during the summer or when your air conditioning system is running.
How often do I need to clean or replace my furnace filter?
We recommend that homeowners clean or replace their filters on a monthly basis. Depending on your individual circumstance (amount of dust, smoking, pet hair) you may need to perform this maintenance more or less often.
Why is a clean filter necessary?
A clean filter helps your furnace to run efficiently. Also, plugged filters can lead to your unit freezing up, which can lead to larger problems. Finally, a dirty filter can perimit dust and dirt to enter the blower and coil assemblies, reducing your furnace's efficiency and eventually destroying its motor. We cannot stress how important it is to keep that filter clean! Mark your calendars and clean or replace those filters each month. Whether you prefer an inexpensive disposable filter or a reusable, electrostatic filter, the important thing is that it is clean!
When should I replace my natural gas furnace?
If your furnace has a pilot light, it was installed prior to 1992 and its annual efficiency is probably less than 65%, perhaps much less. Compare that to the least efficient furnaces available today which are rated at 80% (or 80 AFUE) and you can see that your old furnace is a prime candidate for replacement. In cold climates, a condensing furnace with an efficiency rating of at least 90 AFUE will generally be a very good value. Don't forget to consider the furnace electricity consumption as well—some furnaces consume more electricity than a refrigerator just to power the furnace fan.
Quick tip: Make sure all vents, registers and radiators have plenty of room to breathe. Blocking vents with furniture and draperies can prevent much of the warmed air from reaching the interior of a room.
Should I install a programmable thermostat? Does it make sense to program several different set points throughout the day?
A programmable thermostat is a convenience that can improve your comfort and reduce your heating and cooling bills IF it is programmed properly. When programming your thermostat, remember that the smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the less energy (and money) needed for heating and cooling. By setting back the temperature (reducing indoor temperature in winter or increasing it in summer) during the time when you are normally away or asleep, you will save money. And, contrary to some common myths, it won't take more energy to bring your home back to the desired temperature than it would to leave it at your optimum temperature all day. We estimate heating and cooling savings of 5% when the thermostat is properly programmed. If you have a heat pump, be aware that you need a special "adaptive" thermostat that will bring the temperature up from the setback point in winter without calling for the inefficient "emergency" electric resistance heat.
Quick tip: If you have a central forced-air furnace, do not close off heat registers in unoccupied rooms. Your heating system was designed to heat a specific square footage of living space and will continue working at the same pace - it can't sense whether registers are closed. In addition, all the cold air from the unheated room will filter back into the rest of the house – the equivalent of a large, drafty window.
What are some additional sites that I can visit to find even more information on heating, cooling, and energy efficiency?
www.lennox.com - The Web site for Lennox Industries residential products.
www.energystar.gov - Official Web site of the Environmental Protection Agency offers information on the ENERGY STAR label and corresponding products.
C.L. Linfoot Co. - 4805 Demers Avenue - PO Box 12816 - Grand Forks, ND 58201 - 701-775-3961