Household equipment like furnaces and water heaters help keep a comfortable home. However, homeowners should be aware that these units need tender loving care for them to function safely and efficiently. MoneySense.ca writer Romana King offers some useful suggestions on maintaining heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units.

There are a few other practical maintenance steps you can do yourself to help your home’s heating and cooling system. Vacuum air grates or electrical baseboard heaters to remove dirt, and cover your A/C unit with a breathable, flexible cover to keep out debris and leaves. (Don’t tightly wrap the unit, as you could create a cozy den for critters or damage the unit’s coils.)

Canadian residents have a wide range of options for space heating units. However, the most commonly used by far is the forced air furnace, and this is true in the city of Toronto. While these Toronto furnaces are energy-efficient, they require frequent maintenance. When the following problems surface, however, maintenance will no longer be enough to get the units up and running.

Age

Every household unit has a life expectancy. For instance: microwave ovens, on average, last nine years while gas ranges last fifteen years. Certain factors, of course, affect the shelf life of appliances, and those which are improperly maintained tend to break down ahead of their life expectancy. On average though, air forced furnaces can last from fifteen to twenty years when properly maintained.

Discomfort

A furnace that’s struggling to keep itself alive tends to affect a home’s indoor air quality. If residents feel the air has grown stuffy or stale, it may be an indication that replacement is in order. Another sign of a failing furnace is when residents have suddenly become prone to suffering from dry nose, skin, and throat.

Noise

While an air forced furnace isn’t exactly a silent operator, it shouldn’t be making bothersome noises. Banging, rattling, or squealing noises are red flags that shouldn’t be ignored. Call on trusted HVAC contractors like ones from Laird & Son to know if your furnace is indeed beyond repair and will need replacement.

Household heating and cooling systems like a forced air furnace and tankless water heater in Toronto are considerable investment. Thus, it’s only wise for homeowners to do their share to protect them through regular maintenance. However, there will come a time when maintenance is no longer helpful, indicating that it’s time for a unit replacement.

(Source: The ultimate home maintenance guide, moneysense.ca, October 6, 2011)