How to Prepare your Furnace for the Winter
When you and your family make the transition to winter, it’s important to bring your house along for the ride. You don’t want to be caught in the cold without a working heating system, so ensuring that your furnace is fully functioning as safely and efficiently as possible before the winter chill settles in should be a top priority.
Here are our top seven hints and things to consider as you get your home ready for the winter so you and your family can be comfy and cozy no matter how cold it gets outside.
1. Check the filter
Checking the furnace filter on a monthly basis is a good habit to get into, but especially so when going into the winter months. A clean filter will allow your furnace to do its job properly and efficiently.
It’s a good idea to stock up on filters during the warmer months (when you might even be able to find them on summer sale!) if it does need changing often through the season.
2. Chimney sweeping
The furnace’s chimney can have any number of this get in its way throughout the summer—dust, leaves, soot build-up, even bird’s nests. All of this debris can act as a fire hazard when the heat of a running furnace tries to make its way through.
If you can’t remember when the chimney was last checked, it might be a good idea to call a professional to give it a thorough sweep.
3. Blower maintenance
The furnace blowers are an important part of the furnace system so ensuring that they are clean and continue to perform is very important to keeping your home warm in the winter.
At the end of summer, you the blower motor should be cleaned any dust and debris as and oiled to keep everything running smoothly and prevent any strange noises from keeping you up at night.
4. Check the thermostat
The thermostat keeps the temperature in your home in line. When a thermostat is not working properly, it could be an indication that the entire heating system has been compromised.
It’s easy to check if your thermostat is in top working condition. First, switch the thermostat from its cooling setting to heating. Then, simply turn on the furnace from the thermostat and wait for its response. A fully functional thermostat should get an immediate response from the furnace. If there is a delay, or the furnace doesn’t react at all, you should call a professional for support before winter sets in.
5. Remove the obstacles
Blocked vents will prevent the heat from dispersing throughout your home and send heating bills sky-rocketing. Not only that, but the trapped heat can cause damage to the system, making for much bigger problems down the road.
It’s also a good idea to do a sweep of the area around the furnace to remove any possible fire hazards It’s important to make sure all of your furnace and heating vents are open and clear before you kickstart your furnace for the winter to ensure the safety of your family.
6. Push some buttons
Sometimes your furnace requires you to give the pilot light a boost. In old system, this is done by lighting it by hand, where new system have built-in electronic ignitor switches.
If the ignitor doesn’t seem to be working properly, you can try the reset button on your system and check the breaker. If these tricks don’t bring you the solution you’re looking for, it’s time to call in your trusted professional to take a look.
7. Beat the winter rush
Even though we all know that winter comes around every year, we still manage to get caught up in the mad dashes to get things done. Just like holiday shopping and winterizing your car, there is an inevitable funnel effect that happens when everyone is shock by the sudden return of the cold that can cause weeks of backed up lines and appointments.
Having a qualified professional come to inspect your furnace and perform regular maintenance is the best way to ensure that your heating system has a long and happy life. Heating companies will be particularly busy around the beginning of winter, so beat the rush by scheduling your inspection and maintenance before the first snow fall reminds everyone else to do the same.