20 Sep Tips for Getting Your Furnace Ready for Winter
Never is there a time that you wish you’d paid more attention to your furnace than when it fails to start on the first col day of the season, or when you’re staring at expensive repairs or replacement come January. To avoid both of those annoying scenarios, follow our HVAC experts’ tips for getting your furnace ready for fall and winter now. Let’s start with the easy stuff.
Furnace Maintenance You Can Do Yourself
Turn on the thermostat. Switch your thermostat to heating and set the temperature a couple of degrees higher than the current room temperature. Listen for your furnace to kick on. Give it a few minutes to warm up and place your hand over a register. Feel warm air? Great. Don’t hear it kick on or the air doesn’t warm? It’s time to call Chief Heating & Cooling’s HVAC experts to check the furnace fan, blower or heat pump.
Change your air filter. We might sound like a broken record, but changing your air filter is the easiest and most affordable way to keep your HVAC system at peak operating efficiency. Air filters catch particles, keeping them from collecting on components and “mucking up” your system.
If you have a whole home humidifier system attached to your HVAC system, change that filter, too. Remember to set the relative humidity between 35 and 45 percent, and turn on the water supply to the furnace so it’s ready to go.
Check your vents. Vents, especially those on the floor, collect dust. If you have children and/or pets, then you may be surprised what you find down there. If necessary, you can vacuum the dust out of your vents. For messier situations, you can schedule duct cleaning from a professional service provider.
Double-check that your vents are open and unobstructed by furniture, rugs and whatnot. Closed or covered vents cannot heat your home sufficiently.
Take a look around your HVAC system. Move away any items (especially those that are combustible and flammable) from the area. The space around your furnace should be open.
Remove the front panel if you’re comfortable checking for strange items. Sometimes, insects or pests like to nest in the furnace. Clean out any debris and remove any dust, using a soft brush or vacuum attachment. If you’re not comfortable removing the panel, one of our HVAC technicians can do this for you.
Furnace Maintenance Performed by Chief Heating & Coolings Experts
Given our winters, there’s no substitute for the peace of mind of having professional furnace maintenance performed. For example, Chief Heating & Cooling experts have the expertise and equipment to identify the early signs of furnace failure and make repairs before any big issues surface.
During your furnace maintenance appointment, here are a few of the services our HVAC techs will perform.
Check the heat exchanger. Cracks or rust in this area are a common source of carbon monoxide leaks and must be repaired immediately to keep you safe.
Take pressure readings of the entire system. Low pressure indicates there is a leak somewhere, and it also means your system isn’t running efficiently.
Check the flue. The flue must be clean and free of leaks in order to safely remove carbon monoxide from your home.
Examine and test blower components. Your fan and the belts experience wear and tear and may need replacement before your whole HVAC system.
Test the burner. Even if the burner ignites, the shape and color of the flame can offer red flags for other potential problems.
Calibrate the thermostat. If your thermostat isn’t registering correct temperatures, you could be overpaying on utilities or not as comfortable temperature-wise as you could be.
Check all electrical connections. Loose connections can cause your furnace not to start, but it’s usually a simple fix.
Lubricate moving parts. This avoids unnecessary wear and tear on your system.
Clean the central system. Removing dust and debris keeps your furnace operating efficiently.
Replace the furnace filter. If you haven’t done so already, we’re happy to change the filter.
Failure to perform furnace maintenance every year can take years off the life of your system. Make an appointment with Chief Heating & Cooling today. Better yet, put it on autopilot with our Chief Protection Plan.