Once you see the colours of leaves starting to change, you’ll know that soon winter weather will be on the way.
Your furnace is an essential part of keeping your home safe and cozy in the winter. This is why you’ll want to make sure that it is all prepped and ready to go for the long winter months ahead. You don’t want to find out that your furnace needs repairs or a replacement when the temperatures have already dipped below zero!
Before winter fully arrives, here are some steps you should take to prepare your furnace for the winter:
Change Your Air Filter
One of the first things you should do to prep your furnace for the winter is to check and change your air filter. It will most likely need to be changed, as we recommend you swap it for a new one every couple of months. If the last time you changed it was last winter, it is past due for a refreshment. If you own pets or suffer from allergies, then this is all the more reason to change it more frequently. Changing the air filter will help your furnace heat your home faster and circulate less dust.
Be Sure Your Intake Pipe Is Clear
If you have a modern furnace that is more energy-efficient than an older model, you will need to check its intake pipe. Make sure that the pipe is not blocked or clogged with any debris, and if it is, clean it out. Otherwise, it will impact your furnace’s efficiency, and it can also cause carbon monoxide to build up and pollute your home’s indoor air.
Intake and exhaust pipes are located outside of your home. You should check their condition outside as well, making sure that there is no ice or snow building up, and they are clear from any birds’ nests, insects and other debris. If you cannot properly or easily check the condition of your pipes, you can call in a professional to help you.
Clean Off Any Dust
During the warmer months, when your furnace is not in use, dust and other debris will settle on the burners and heat exchangers. If you have access to these, then you need to make sure that they are cleaned off before you turn it on. If the dust is left there, your heater will start circulating throughout your home, negatively affecting your indoor air quality. Your heat exchangers also must be dusted, vacuumed and wiped down while your heating unit is disabled. While you are there, you should check for any cracks or rusting on any parts of the unit that might indicate repairs or a professional is needed to avoid a larger problem down the line.
Turn On/Program Your Thermostat
Switch your thermostat from the “cooling” setting to the “heating” setting. This might sound like a no-brainer but many homeowners forget to make the switch. Set the temperature to a few degrees higher than your current room temperature. You should hear your heating system start within a minute, but if you don’t, then you might need to check the wiring on your thermostat. It’s best to call in a professional if this happens to you.
Check The Burner
Another important component of your furnace is the blower motor. If you have the type of motor that needs lubricating and you are comfortable to do so, then this is the time you should. Your blower needs to be oiled yearly to ensure that it runs smoothly. When you turn on your furnace, listen closely for any odd noises coming from the blower and contact an HVAC professional if you do hear something strange.
Uncover Your Heating Vents
During the months leading up to winter, you might have done some redecorating at home. Be sure to locate and uncover any vents that might have got covered up in the process. Things like big furniture or rugs should be removed from vents that are on the floor. Take care to also remove any objects stored around your vents and furnace unit itself. Having blocked vents will prevent your heat from heating your home and items that are nearby your heating vents can pose a fire hazard.
Inspect Safety Monitors
Your smoke, radon and carbon monoxide detectors need to be checked periodically in your home. Be sure that they have working batteries and test them to make sure they work properly before turning on your furnace.
Inspect Your Chimney
Chimneys can become blocked with debris and even small animals from time to time. If you cannot easily access your chimney and it has been a while since you have, consider calling in a professional to take a look and clear it before you start heating your home.
Hire An HVAC Professional
Even if you keep up with regular maintenance on your own, your furnace will still likely need more maintenance and repair as time goes on. This is simply because with age comes more wear and tear, it’s only natural. Staying on top of professional maintenance and repair will help you save money in the long run because it will prevent your furnace from experiencing any major breakdowns, which could result in needing to replace the entire system. You should be scheduling regular inspections with your HVAC professional.
By following these steps, you will be able to properly prepare your furnace for the coming winter months.
Colin Hegarty is a content writer for BreezeMaxWeb that helps businesses showcase their brand through enticing copy. When he’s not working, you can find him playing net in a local beer league or biking around the city.