From the desk of a Plumber's wife

December 28, 2012

From the desk of a Plumber's wife

I'll tell you a secret, last winter these words escaped my lips: "Honey, there is no heat!" Since my DH was out fixing someone else's furnace, for the moment I was on my own. Here is what I did, and you can too.

I walked over to the programmable thermostat to see if it was on. Ours was on. Programmable thermostats, which take care of turning down the heat when you don't need it and having the house nice and toasty when you do, are an important and necessary thing to have. They are a great way to improve efficiency and save money on your heating bill. They are simple to install, simply replacing your existing manual thermostat. R&B can install one with your regular annual service, or any time you like. Call to arrange for yours.

Ours said "clean furnace filter - press 'here' to dismiss" I pressed to dismiss (wouldn't you?), and the heat came on! I was so impressed; I was magic, brilliant, independent! I had fixed the heat…for about 5 minutes. That's about how long it took for the furnace to reject my "fix".

I decided to check the filter, it was gray and fluffy. It shouldn't look like that, and neither should yours. You filter should be changed at least 4 times each year, probably more. If you are unsure, call your favorite plumbing and heating company, R&B, so see what the standard is for your furnace. Once I changed my filter, and reset the thermostat, yippee, the heat came on.

Changing a filter is easy preventative maintenance that you can do yourself. In the example above where our furnace refused to run until it had a new filter, it is a great way to avoid a service call.

Never seen your filter? Here is a tip. Most of the time, the filters are so obvious and slip out so easily that you'll wonder if it was just a spare tucked into the side of the furnace. You might wonder that until you look at the side of it and it is gray and fuzzy like ours was. They are located where the cold air intake goes into the furnace. Here is another tip. If you promise to go straight out and get a replacement filter, then you can take your dirty one with you. A furnace operating without a filter for a few hours will not hurt, and taking many trips to and from the hardware store (however much you love it) is inconvenient and inefficient.

When you are buying your filter, you may also be thinking about different types and air quality. For a quick education on air quality visit our website, There you will find an easy to read and understand explanation filters and what things like HEPA actually mean. (High Efficiency Air Filter).

For now, the best thing you can do for your furnace and your home air quality is keep your standard air filters clean.

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