What to Know When Your Furnace Leaves You Out within the Chilly

It’s the middle of winter and you might be wondering if your oven will make it through the season. Stoves are one of the greatest comfort factors in your home. So how do you know if yours are working properly, and if not, how do you know which to replace them with? Here are some tips to get you through the winter.

How to Safely Check Your Oven

  • Check the label on your oven. How old is it? When your furnace hits that 15-20 year threshold, it is likely that you are nearing the time to replace it.
  • Make sure the circuit breaker is on. Sometimes it can trip and all it takes is a simple flip of the switch.
  • Check the air filter. If your air smells musty or dirty, this is a good indication that it’s time for a replacement filter. If the filter itself looks dirty or clogged, switch it off!
  • Check the pilot light or the electrical ignition. If it is turned off, follow the instructions in your oven’s owner’s manual to troubleshoot errors.
  • Remove blockages in ducts and inlet and outlet openings.

If none of these fixes seem to do the trick, it’s time to call an HVAC specialist.

Signs that could indicate an oven failure

  • You hear a rattle, buzz, or other strange noises.
  • Your thermostat says the heater is on, but it is blowing cold air.
  • Your heating bills suddenly went up while your heating habits didn’t.

If you need to replace your oven there are a few factors to consider when purchasing it. Here are the basics of two of the most important ones:

  • Climate and Stove Efficiency – Stoves have an annual Fuel Use Efficiency (AFUE) rating to help you find the most efficient option for your home. Look for the stove that is designed for your climate. They are divided into two categories by Energy Star. If you live in one of the southern states, you can purchase an oven that is Energy Star certified in the southern US. Because ovens don’t have to work as hard in milder temperatures, they need an AFUE rating of 80 or higher. In colder climates, an oven with an AFUE rating of at least 90 is required.
  • Stove Size – It is important to purchase the correct size stove to heat your living space. Too big and you are wasting excess heat – too small and you will have to buy more sweaters. To calculate the BTUH capacity you will need in your stove, you need to determine the heat factor for your particular home (how many BTUs per square foot are required in your climate based on the age and construction of your home, and how much heat is escaping). An HVAC expert can help you determine the most suitable size for your oven.

Photo by insta_photos / Shutterstock

Once you’ve found your perfect oven, add one of these Energy Star certified smart thermostats for easy, bespoke climate control that can save you money on your utility bills:

  • Nest Learning Thermostat – Nest monitors your air conditioner to identify potential problems and notify you via your smartphone (including a reminder to change your air filter). It programs itself for the highest heating output based on your schedule. You can also adjust the heat remotely to keep the house warm after a weekend.
  • EcoBee Smart Thermostat – Control this Smart Thermostat with your voice! It has Alexa, speakerphone, an intercom and Spotify. It also learns your schedule and adapts to the highest efficiency.
  • Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat – Sensi Touch sends HVAC monitoring alerts for extreme temperatures and humidity. The app will even help you install the thermostat. It’s also smart and flexible so you can use it with Alexa, Google, and Apple. It learns your schedule or allows you to control it manually through the app.

Don’t let your stove stand out in the cold this year! With these quick tips, you’ll be well on your way to finding the best solution or oven for your situation.

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