Maintaining your furnace in proper working order can be of critical importance for Wisconsin residents, especially after the record-breaking cold temperatures experienced during the winter of 2013. A well-maintained furnace can help you stay warm and cozy even on the coldest Wisconsin winter nights. Here are five tips for furnace repair, replacement and maintenance that can help you and your family weather the worst of Wisconsin weather in comfort.

Gas vs. Electric

Depending on your existing hookups and preferences, you can select between gas and electric-powered furnaces to manage your heating requirements:

• Gas furnaces require a connection to natural gas lines. These furnaces typically cost more to purchase and install than their electric-powered counterparts. Gas-powered furnaces typically cost less to operate and to repair and can generate warm radiant heat for greater comfort inside your home.
• In most cases, electric furnaces are less energy efficient than gas heating units. This can result in higher utility bills during cold winters. Because electric furnaces and heat pumps do not burn fuel, they do not require ventilation equipment and are somewhat safer than comparable gas furnace installations.

Working with a professional heating and cooling company can help you choose the furnace best suited to your home and your heating needs.

Scheduling a Tune-Up

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your furnace running smoothly. Scheduling a furnace tune-up in early fall can ensure that your heating system runs properly when cold weather arrives. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and their colleagues at Energy Star recommend that the following services be performed in the months leading up to Wisconsin winter chills:

• Thermostat inspection
• Comprehensive examination of gas connectors, heat exchangers, burners and combustion chambers to identify any safety issues
• Examination and adjustment of electrical connections
• Lubrication of all moving parts
• Evaluation of all system controls to ensure proper function
• Checking and clearing the condensate drain to reduce the risk of back-ups
• Replacing the air filter
• Performing a test run to ensure that all parts of your home HVAC system are performing properly

A heating system tune-up can extend the life of your furnace and provide you with added comfort even on the coldest winter evenings.

Right-Sizing your Home Heating Solution

Choosing the right furnace at replacement time can have a major impact on your overall comfort and can ensure the most cost-efficient solution for your heating and cooling needs. Furnace systems that are too small cannot provide the warmth needed to cope with chilly Wisconsin mornings. Oversized systems can cost more to purchase and to operate. Furnaces are sized according to the number of British thermal units (BTUs) they can generate. For most Hudson homeowners, enlisting the help and guidance of a professional HVAC repair and replacement company can provide you with the information needed to choose the furnace sized right for your home.

Working with the Professionals

Finding and sticking with an HVAC company that provides reliable repair and maintenance services can provide added peace of mind when emergencies arise. By establishing a good working relationship with a professional heating and cooling company, you can often receive notifications of special sales, promotional events and discounts to help you save money on repairs and maintenance for your heating system. Working with one company to handle your full range of HVAC needs can allow you to develop a clear understanding of the services offered and the business philosophy of your chosen heating and cooling service provider.

If your current furnace is more than 15 years old, it may be time to begin planning for a replacement system. Working with an established heating and cooling firm can provide you with a range of options that may include the following:

• Electric or gas furnace replacement
• Upgrades to high-efficiency heating equipment
• Combination heat pump and air conditioning systems

Installing a programmable thermostat along with your new heating system can provide added control for you and your family. Some modern thermostats even allow you to adjust temperatures remotely by using your computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet. This can ensure the most convenient climate control and can boost the efficiency of your entire system.

By scheduling HVAC maintenance before the first snow falls in Hudson, Wisconsin, you can ensure the most comfortable temperatures inside your home no matter what Mother Nature has in store for us this winter.