Furnace Maintenance & Air Quality: Smart, Easy Ways to Counter Cold Weather

furnace maintenance air quality

Here near Yorkville, Aurora, Plainfield, Naperville and Montgomery IL, many of us might not think about furnace maintenance until we really have to. That can make sense – what we don’t need in the moment usually isn’t top of mind. But when it comes to our heating, when we do need it, we figure it out pretty fast, and it can sometimes be both problematic and inconvenient.

Because the season includes periods when you need neither heating nor cooling, fall is a great time to schedule furnace maintenance. Autumn temperatures can be ideal for inspecting and fine-tuning your system with less concern about an issue that could leave you in a bind.

A little bit of preventive furnace maintenance really can go a long way. When you arrange an inspection and tune-up, you help ensure optimal performance from your system, potentially lower utility bills and put less wear and tear on your furnace.

Fall is also a good time to consider the quality of air you’ll want at home during winter. Let’s run through some top things to keep in mind as you prepare for the colder months.

1. Ensure sufficient heat before temperatures start to fall below freezing. If your HVAC professional has ever pointed out the advancing age of your furnace and the growing need to nurse particular parts, consider replacing the unit before it fails and when your need for heating is lower.

When you schedule furnace maintenance with RJ Kuhn, a licensed technician will perform a 20-point inspection that ensures all parts are properly working, including those that require lubrication. The technician will also fully test the system for safety, clean the burners and identify any issues that could result in a furnace failure down the line, such as a noisy blower motor or a dirty flame sensor.

If your furnace needs a repair, we maintain the specialty tools, equipment and parts that often allow us to make on-the-spot furnace repairs where before a more-expensive replacement might have been the only viable option. In this way, we regularly save our customers in Yorkville, Aurora, Plainfield, Naperville and Montgomery hundreds and even up to thousands of dollars.

We are proficient with maintenance and repair of all brands and types of furnaces.

2. Consider proper humidity. Most of us pay attention to staying warm when it’s cold out, but it’s likely that fewer of us consider our home’s humidity an important factor of comfort, health and air quality during winter.

The right balance of moisture in your air contributes to easier breathing and greater relaxation at home. It will even make your body feel warmer just as it does in the summer.

When humidity is maintained between 30% and 60%, it also helps limit the growth of bacteria, viruses, fungi and mites, all of which can thrive in high-moisture environments. Proper humidity further helps to prevent static electricity and limit the shrinking of wood surfaces.

If you already have a humidifier, consider having it inspected this fall. You’ll also want to clean the water tray of any mineral deposits or growth and change out the water panel.

If you don’t have a source for moisture this fall and winter, RJ Kuhn can provide you with an estimate to install the proper type and size of humidifier for your home. The right humidifier will add moisture to your air and maintain the correct level with an accurate humidistat that will control moisture content at between 30% and 60% relative humidity.

Even if you use radiant heat, we have a solution for you.

3. Determine how fresh and clean your air is. Let’s start with fresh air. Today’s newer homes are often built very tightly for maximum insulation. For this reason, they have little air infiltration as compared with a 40-year-old home that hasn’t been refinished with current insulating techniques.

Within a tightly built home, we will breathe the same re-circulated air if we do not introduce fresh air. Opening a window can bring in the needed fresh air, but it may also welcome other factors such as rain, wind or a temperature change, creating discomfort.

Achieving fresh air calls for us to control the amount and location of outdoor air’s introduction. An energy recovery ventilator is one of the best ways to do this. This unit will bring in fresh air while exhausting stale air from your home. The heat from the exhaust air also tempers the incoming cooler air, which helps reduce the cost of heating the fresh air.

The incoming fresh air should be ducted to the furnace return-air duct as well. This will allow the incoming air to pass through a filtration device and acquire moisture from a humidifier. At this stage, fresh air can become clean air as well.

Proper air filtration captures and destroys particulate matter such as mold, bacteria and viruses that compromise air quality and potentially personal health. The best air-filtration products utilize UV wavelengths to kill the pathogens as they enter the air cleaner. They then use an ionizing current to polarize the particles, which will be captured by a polarized media with the opposite charge.

Maintenance is key with these air cleaners. The UV bulbs should be switched out every two years and the media should be changed each year. Although UV bulbs may pass the “eye test” for function, the B wave is normally the first to stop being produced even though the light seems to be working. The B wave is vital to killing airborne pathogens.

The air-cleaning system can be controlled by either basic programming or WiFi. It can also include remote sensors, temperature averaging and wireless thermostats.

Furnace Maintenance & Air Quality: Contact RJ Kuhn

With the right furnace maintenance and air-quality systems, you will be fully prepared to be more safe, comfortable and even healthy when it gets cold out soon. Give us a call at (630) 554-3336 to find out how we can serve and support you in Oswego, Yorkville, Aurora, Naperville or Montgomery IL.

RJ Kuhn offers 24-hour emergency service when needed for our customers in Oswego, Yorkville, Aurora, Naperville or Montgomery.