When Old Man Winter strikes, you don’t want your home to be left in the cold.
If you have a furnace, now is the time to get it ready for winter so you and your family can stay toasty and warm throughout the chilly season.
Check out these eight pro tips that will ensure your furnace is completely winter-ready and running efficiently.
1. Do a Thermostat Check
When you switch your system over from cooling to heating, it might need a little bit of fine-tuning. Turn your thermostat to heat, and then slowly raise the temperature to a few degrees higher than the current room temperature.
Listen carefully for the heat to turn on and if it doesn’t, take a look at the wire connections under the furnace cover to make sure everything is attached securely. Turning on the heat is also a good time to check on the blower, heat pump, or furnace fan, too.
When you test your thermostat and system early, you have a better chance of getting problems addressed now before winter strikes.
2. Change the Filter
You should already be switching your HVAC filters out once per month. If winter is approaching, now is a good time to go ahead and replace it again.
Ideally, filters should be cleaned or replaced monthly to keep potentially harmful particles from clogging up your system. If the filter is dirty, it can cause costly damage to the unit and you also won’t feel the effects of warm air since it can’t blow through the ductwork the way it should.
3. Get Ready for Winter: Check the Heat Exchanger
Every year, you should brush and vacuum your heat exchanger, or hire a trained professional to do it for you. This simple step can preserve the life of your furnace and keep it running smoothly.
Look carefully for any cracks that could possibly lead to a dangerous carbon monoxide leak. A good cleaning gives you the chance to identify any issues while getting the heat exchanger prepped for colder temperatures.
4. Protect the Outdoor AC Condenser
If you have a heat pump, you can ignore this step. However, if your home uses a furnace, cold weather is the time to get out there and protect your AC condenser.
The condenser is susceptible to damage from things like falling icicles and branches, which can cause costly repairs. To protect the condenser, simply cover it with a large trash can lid tied down with bungee cords.
Use a wood board to cover the condenser fan, but never cover the unit with a plastic tarp. This can cause moisture to build up and create issues later on when warmer weather arrives.
5. Schedule a Furnace Inspection
To get ready for winter, call your local HVAC professionals and schedule an inspection of your furnace. This inspection should pinpoint any potential for damage or issues in the future so you can get them corrected now.
A trained technician will look for things like damage to your coils, proper pressure and airflow, and they’ll do a visual inspection of the heat exchanger. Since your furnace has a lot of components, it’s important to let the experts take a closer look to identify any issues.
6. Check Your Vents
Before winter arrives, clean and dust all of your vents and registers. A clean vent allows the warm air to flow into your home, and it makes it easier for your furnace to operate at its maximum capacity.
If you have vents on the floor or along the floorboards, make sure they’re exposed. Remove any furniture, blankets, and anything else that might be covering your vents so you can enjoy the warm air when winter arrives.
7. Inspect the Ignitor Switch
If you have an older gas furnace, you might need to reignite the pilot light. Modern furnace systems tend to have an electronic ignitor which is usually activated with the push of a button.
If your ignitor switch is still not working, try the reset button to see if that helps and if not, check your breakers. When all else fails, you’ll need to call a professional technician for help. They might need to replace the switch entirely if it’s not able to be activated.
8. Prep Your Home
Aside from taking care of your furnace, you’ll need to prepare your home for the cold winter months ahead. Seal all windows and doors, looking for any gaps and then replacing old weatherstripping with new.
Turn your ceiling fans to the clockwise direction so they help circulate and blow the warmer air downward. Make sure the insulation in your attic looks good, and if it needs to be replaced or increased, now is the time.
The more you prepare your home to stay warm for the winter, the less hard your furnace will need to work. A properly insulated home and a healthy furnace go hand-in-hand.
Winter is Coming
Just because winter is on its way, it doesn’t mean you need to worry about getting ready for winter and its chilly temperatures. With some easy planning and proper care, your furnace will be able to handle anything that comes its way.
Make sure you replace the filter, clean all air vents, and protect your outdoor AC condenser. Schedule a professional furnace inspection so you’ll have peace of mind all winter long.
Call us today to schedule an appointment, and visit our blog to learn more about HVAC tips and energy-saving advice.