With crisper air and the leaves changing colors, now is the perfect time to prepare yourself and your home for winter, and this especially includes readying your home’s furnace.
You will want to make sure you can properly heat your home and keep you and your family warm when the cold weather strikes. But you don’t want to wait until the cold comes to check your home’s heater. It is best to act now so that any problems can be addressed in time for the winter weather.
Keep the following furnace maintenance tips in mind when preparing your home for colder temperatures.
Change or Clean Air Filters
Whether there are filters in your home’s HVAC system or behind the vent grill, filters should be changed on a monthly basis as recommended by HVAC experts. At the very least, filters should be changed in the fall and spring.
For homes that have permanent electrostatic filters, wash them. Cleaning and washing filters on a regular basis will prolong the HVAC system’s life and will keep the HVAC system free of particles. If your HVAC system has a humidifier, be sure to change that filter and set the humidistat, too.
Filters that are dirty and/or clogged are a common source for HVAC system problems, so it’s important that you replace or clean them regularly.
Turn on Heat
Turn on your home’s thermostat, and switch it from cooling to heating. Set the temperature to something that’s a bit higher than the one you desire. If within a minute the heat doesn’t start, you need to check the thermostat’s wiring.
If you’re comfortable with doing so, remove the cover, and check that all wire connections are secure. If the connections are fine, check the power source. If the power source is fine, there could be other factors causing problems. In such a case, it is best to call a professional.
Clean Out Vents
Make your way throughout your residence to inspect all supply and return vents. Check that they are all free of debris and not blocked by anything. If you find that there’s dust and other debris in the vents, vacuum them out. Your HVAC system will do a more efficient job at heating your home when the vents are clean. Additionally, removing debris and other dirt stops them from entering the system and circulating throughout your home, so you can guarantee cleaner breathing air by cleaning out vents.
Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Furnaces naturally produce small amounts of carbon monoxide that will exit a home through its venting system, but furnaces can produce large, dangerous amounts of the colorless, odorless, poisonous gas if the furnace is dirty or inefficient.
Knowing this, you need to make sure that the carbon monoxide detectors in your home have fresh batteries and are working properly. If you don’t have such detectors, purchase some and check that they work. That way, if your furnace does end up producing large amounts of carbon monoxide, you will know. You’ll protect yourself and your family, and you’ll know that you may need to get the furnace serviced.
Perform a Chimney Inspection
If you have a chimney in your home, inspect it for any soot buildup. Cleaning your chimney of soot and other debris improves your home’s heating efficiency and also gives carbon monoxide a path to exit your residence.
Cover the Condenser
To protect it from winter hazards, cover the condenser for your air conditioning unit. This will help it survive through the winter so that it will be in good shape come spring. However, if your HVAC system also has a heat pump, then you don’t need to cover the condenser, because it runs year-round.
Hire Professionals for Cleaning and Maintenance
Whether it’s cleaning the furnace and its parts or checking electrical components, you may be uncomfortable doing these tasks on your own. Even if you aren’t, the best action to take when conducting furnace maintenance is to hire a professional service, because professionals are trained to do such work. They will know what to look for, how to properly clean parts, and how to address any issues that they discover.
At ServiceMaster Professional Services, we offer air duct cleaning services that help maintain your home or business’s HVAC system. We are properly trained and equipped to clean air ducts and their component parts. By performing such cleaning, we can ensure a more efficient HVAC system and cleaner breathing air for your residence or business.