As temperatures drop this fall, homeowners will prep their furnaces for another Chicagoland winter. Homeowners should have their furnace cleaned and inspected at least once a year, before they know they need it.
Effective May 1, a government rule will require homeowners to buy more efficient—and more expensive, furnace units. Homeowners will no longer be able to buy chimney-vented furnaces anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line.
The new law will require installations of products with 90 percent efficiency or higher. Until then, homeowners can continue to purchase and install units with the average of 80 percent efficiency.
The average life of a furnace is about 15 years. A well-maintained furnace, though, should last about 20 years. The cost could range from $1,500 to $3,000.
Tips for Furnace Maintenance
1. Replace the filters once a month, whether it's heating or air-conditioning the home. The furnace blower also air-conditions the house, so without replacing filters, the furnace will tire of extra wear and could overheat.
2. Have the furnace cleaned and checked once a year, before the busy heating season. The furnace's heat exchanger is where fire is burned. Rust or cracks in the heat exchanger increase the risk of introducing carbon monoxide into the house.
3. Always keep combustible items away from the front of the furnace.
Who to Call
A number of local businesses are ready to help Elmhurst residents make sure their furnaces are ready for cold days ahead:
- Alan Heating Air Conditioning Inc.
- Fiebrandt Brothers Heating & Cooling
- Unlimited Heating & Cooling Inc.
- My Guy Heating & Cooling
- Seasonaire Inc.
- Prestige Heating and Cooling
- Visser Heating & Air Conditioning
- Quality Air