As the leaves fall and the temperatures drop, you know that soon you’ll need to turn on your furnace to keep your home cozy and comfortable for the winter. Before you do so, there are a few steps you should take to ensure your furnace is in safe, working order.
Below, we discuss nine ways to prepare your furnace for winter.
You should check and change your furnace’s air filter every few months. If you have allergies or pets that shed, you may want to change the filter more often. Keeping your air filter new and clean helps your furnace get heat to you faster and with less dust.
Set Thermostat to “Heat”
Changing your thermostat to heating may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget this step initially. Ensure that the correct systems are doing the work to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
During the summer, when your furnace is all but forgotten, dust gathers. When your burners turn on and they have dust sitting on them, you may get an unpleasant dusty smell through your house. To prevent this issue, clean off the burners before turning your furnace on for the first time of the season. While cleaning, keep an eye out for rust or misaligned parts that may need to be addressed by a professional.
Check and Oil Blower
After months of not being in use, various components of your furnace can fall into disrepair. One of the most important components to check is the furnace’s blower. The blower needs to be oiled yearly so it operates smoothly. Once you turn on the furnace, listen for any unusual sounds coming from the blower and call an HVAC professional if you hear something strange.
Uncover Heating Vents
You may have changed the arrangement of your furniture and belongings since the last time you used the furnace. Furniture has been moved or new furniture has been bought. Check to make sure that no objects block the heating vents. Move anything stored around your furnace unit. Blocked vents prevent the heat from warming your house, and items stored near the furnace pose a fire hazard.
Clear Chimney and Vents
Your furnace may connect to a direct vent in a side wall or through the chimney. Over the summer, debris or even small animals may get into the vent or chimney, so before you turn on your furnace make sure the vents are not obstructed. If your furnace vents through a chimney, you should also check for soot buildup.
Test Safety Monitors
You should have smoke, radon, and carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home. If you don’t already, purchase some. Check the batteries in all of them and then test the detectors to make sure they function properly before you turn on your heater.
Check for Smells or Noises
When you finally do turn on your furnace for the first time for the winter, pay attention to any unusual smells or noises. Some of these issues may just be the furnace getting used to working again. However, some of these signals may indicate larger problems. Call your HVAC professional and ask for their advice if your furnace causes persistent strange odors or sounds.
Hire a Professional
No matter how well you take care of your furnace, you’re still likely to need maintenance and repair during your furnace’s lifespan. To keep the cost of these repairs down, schedule regular inspections with an HVAC professional. These experts can also help you pick out and install a new furnace when your current unit eventually dies.
Use these steps today so you can turn on your furnace as soon as necessary.